State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has ruled that Troy Police Sgt. Randy French cannot be prosecuted in the April 2016 death of Edson Thevenin.
Thevenin died while trying to flee a DWI traffic stop. The car Thevenin was driving reportedly pinned French’s legs to his police cruiser; that’s when Sgt. French shot Thevenin.
Schneiderman's office took over the investigation of the case which led to an indictment of Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove on charges of felony perjury and misdemeanor official misconduct.
Abelove presented the case to a grand jury and Schneiderman maintained that the case was rushed to the Grand Jury before all witness testimony could be heard.
Schneiderman released a statement saying,
“Edson Thevenin’s death was a tragedy. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
Our investigation uncovered significant problems with the Troy Police Department’s evidence collection, preservation, and analysis practices in this case. These problems included a flawed, prejudged analysis of the evidence and a failure to properly interview all of the available witnesses to the shooting. As detailed in the report, these failures undermined the homicide investigation and must be quickly and thoroughly addressed.
As a matter of law, regardless of the ultimate conclusions reached by our office, criminal prosecution in this case was made impossible because the officer involved testified before a 2016 grand jury without having waived immunity from prosecution.
We are always committed to conducting a fully independent review of the facts in these cases, and to providing an exhaustive and transparent accounting of our investigation.”