Second man indicted in kidnapping
JOHNSTOWN — A second man has been indicted in relation to an alleged August kidnapping incident in the city of Gloversville, according to Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown’s office.
According to a press release from Brown’s office, Frank J. Brandon, 32, of 73 Park St., was indicted on a charge of first-degree hindering the prosecution, a class D felony, by a Fulton County grand jury.
Brandon was taken into custody by members of the Gloversville Police Department on Wednesday and arraigned Thursday before Fulton County Court Judge Polly Hoye. He was remanded to the Fulton County Correctional Facility with no bail.
The charge stems from an investigation by the Gloversville Police Department and state police into a kidnapping and assault that occurred at 15 James St. in Gloversville in August.
Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown said Thursday that the sealed indictment against Brandon was handed up by the same grand jury that indicted Delaney E. Akins on multiple charges in relation to the August incident.
“He’s believed to have provided assistance to Mr. Akins in the kidnapping and assault charge that he is facing,” Brown said.
Brown said police believe that Brandon was aware of the situation in which a male victim was allegedly imprisoned at 15 James St. from Aug. 15 to Aug. 21 and assaulted by Akins. Brown added that he did not yet know the full connection between Brandon and Akins.
Due to the nature of the alleged crime, The Leader-Herald is withholding the victim’s name.
Brown said that he could not discuss details of the ongoing case or whether any additional individuals will be indicted on charges by the grand jury.
Akins, 27, of 260 W. 131st St., Manhattan, was indicted in November on the following charges by a Fulton County grand jury in connection to the incident: first-degree kidnapping, a felony; two counts of first-degree assault, a violent felony; assault in the second-degree, a violent felony; and aggravated sexual abuse in the third-degree, a violent felony.
Akins was arraigned before Judge Hoye on the charges with his court appointed attorney, Kyle Davis, present on Nov. 16 and remanded to the Fulton County Correctional Facility with no bail.
Akins had been incarcerated at the county jail on a single charge of first-degree kidnapping since he was taken into custody by Gloversville police on Aug. 21 at 15 James St.
Akins was located by police at the James Street address after multiple law enforcement agencies began investigating the circumstances that left Akins’ alleged male victim injured and wandering Kingsboro Avenue wearing only a T-shirt, boxer shorts and a towel around his head earlier that day around 9 a.m.
Gloversville City Court Judge Traci DiMezza ordered Akins to be held for grand jury action on Oct. 12 following a preliminary felony hearing during which the victim appeared in court as Brown’s sole witness, accusing Akins of imprisoning him at 15 James St. from Aug. 15 to Aug. 21.
The victim told the court he went to the building alone on Aug. 15 to visit two people he knew who lived there. He entered the building through the main entrance and finding no one there, hung around until he fell asleep.
He was woken up some time later by Akins, who he knew by another name.
Akins allegedly wanted the man’s help looking for some drugs he said were missing from the basement. The man said he went with Akins and was checking some boxes when he said he was hit on the back of the head.
The man said he was knocked down, and while he was not unconscious, he was disoriented when Akins brought him further into the basement room, tied him up and began beating him.
“I was hit with objects, kicked and punched. I would go unconscious and he would wake me up by burning my feet with a torch,” the man stated.
When asked by Brown how many times he went unconscious, the man stated “a lot of times.”
The man told the court he continued to be tied up for several days until one of the friends he had gone to the building to see found him, apparently unaware he had been there all that time. As the friend went to untie the victim, Akins entered the room.
The victim said Akins then untied him and took him to another room in the building he was told he could not leave.
After he was untied, the man said he mostly slept and was not hurt any further. He continued to be told that he could not leave by Akins and was mostly left alone in the room he had been brought to.
On Aug. 20, the man said Akins and his friends had a party in the building and he was able to leave while they were sleeping the following morning.
The man began walking down Kingsboro Avenue where he encountered police and was taken to Nathan Littauer Hospital before he was transferred to Albany Medical Center.
The man described his injuries that included six broken ribs, a broken back, lung contusions, a skull fracture, marks from the ropes he was bound with, burns from a butane torch and multiple broken bones in his face that affected his speech.
During cross examination at that October court appearance, Davis, Akins’ attorney, asked the victim several times why he did not leave the building sooner after he was untied.
“I was beaten, I could barely see,” the man said. “I was still captive.”
“I contemplated trying to leave,” he added. “I waited for the opportunity.”
Davis asked the victim if other people knew he was present in the building or had entered the room he was in. He said he couldn’t recall who was there, but thought people saw him and the condition he was in.
Davis asked if the situation that resulted in his captivity was related to “some kind of beef over heroin,” to which the man responded, “that’s what I was told.”
Davis began to question the man further about the connection of drugs to the incident, but was forced to discontinue the line of questioning following several objections from Brown that DiMezza sustained.
Davis argued that his questions were intended to raise the potential issue of other people in the house and the credibility of the witness. DiMezza said the purpose of the hearing was to show probable cause that the defendant committed the crime he was accused of for the purpose of being held for grand jury action, which his line of questioning would have no bearing on.
Davis raised questions over the victim’s written statement in which he used the word “they” multiple times to describe who had beaten him. The victim said at the time that he wrote the statement he wasn’t sure if it had been more than one person, but after thinking about it further he no longer thought anyone other than Akins hurt him.