JOHNSTOWN - A Fulton County grand jury Thursday indicted a Montgomery County man for allegedly assaulting and robbing 42-year-old Brian Morrison the night of July 6, 2010, before Morrison was stabbed to death on Bleecker Street in Gloversville.
The grand jury indicted Derrick R. Paul, 29, of Main Street, St. Johnsville, on five charges. He was arraigned in Fulton County Court, District Attorney Louise Sira announced Monday.
Paul was charged with second- and third-degree robbery, second-degree assault, and tampering with physical evidence, all felonies, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He faces no charges in the stabbing or death of Morrison.
"It's still a very active investigation," Gloversville Police Capt. Anthony Clay said today.
Clay said Paul "can't be completely ruled out" as a suspect in the actual stabbing of Morrison.
Clay said several weapons have been confiscated in connection with the case, but none is believed to be the knife that resulted in Morrison's death.
Morrison's nearly lifeless body was removed by ambulance from near a sidewalk at 147 Bleecker St. in Gloversville before police arrived. Emergency personnel responded to the scene after a 911 call and found Morrison unresponsive. He was rushed from the scene to the hospital, but Morrison was pronounced dead on arrival.
Since fall 2010, Gloversville police have referred to Paul as a "person of interest" in the case.
Sira said Paul faces a maximum of 15 years in state prison if convicted on the top count of felony robbery. She said he has a past criminal record, but she hasn't had a chance to thoroughly review it yet.
Paul was sent to the county jail without bail pending another appearance in County Court at 9:30 a.m. July 10 before Judge Polly A. Hoye.
Authorities previously said Morrison was stabbed in the neck before midnight while starting to walk from Doc's Remedy, a Gloversville bar on Bleecker Street, to his home in Johnstown.
Sira said the grand jury found Paul's alleged crimes against Morrison occurred before Morrison was stabbed.
The indictment alleges Paul punched Morrison in the jaw, rendering him unconscious, and stole his wallet on Bleecker Street the night of July 6, 2010. The indictment also alleges that on July 6 or 7, 2010, Paul hid the wallet, which Sira said had no money in it, and then destroyed it by burning it.
Sira said Paul at the time was living in an apartment on Bleecker Street.
In a prepared statement, Sira said the Morrison case remains a "top priority" for Gloversville police and her office.
"I know it brings a measure of comfort to Mr. Morrison's family that those who played a role in committing crimes against him before his death are being brought to justice," Sira stated.
The district attorney's office says the investigation into Morrison's death is ongoing with the Gloversville Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to call Clay at 773-4513.
Derek A. "Deke" Kenney, 42, of 157 Handy Road, Mayfield, was charged with second-degree murder by Gloversville police on July 9, 2010, after police said he fatally stabbed Morrison on Bleecker Street. Charges were dismissed Oct. 26 of that year after Kenney's attorneys argued grand-jury proceedings against Kenney were tainted because some witnesses lied.
Those witnesses have since been convicted.
Kayla Bowman, 23, of 81 E. Main St., was sentenced in March by Hoye to 20 days in the county jail as part of a plea agreement. She also received three years of probation. Sentencing was based on her Jan. 6 guilty plea to one count of third-degree hindering prosecution.
An indictment from a county grand jury in July 2011 charged Bowman and Rebecca Abraham, 37, of Warren Road, Mayfield, and Stephanie Moore, 20, of 162 Bleecker St., Gloversville. The indictment accused the women of lying about and concealing facts related to the Morrison case.
Bowman had faced charges of punishable false written statement and two counts of third-degree hindering prosecution.
Abraham was sentenced by Hoye in September 2011 to 30 days in the county jail, three years of probation and a $200 surcharge. Sentencing was based on her July 29, 2011, guilty plea to one count of third-degree hindering prosecution.
Moore also previously pleaded guilty to one count of felony first-degree perjury, and in October 2011, received 90 days in the county jail and five years of probation.
In an interview with The Leader-Herald the day after Morrison's death, Moore said she was walking along Bleecker Street when she found Morrison.
Kenney has been charged with several unrelated misdemeanors and violations in the months since his murder charge was dropped, including disorderly conduct and trespassing. He filed a federal lawsuit against the city in July, saying his rights were violated when he was charged with murder.
Authorities said in October 2010 that multiple witnesses reported seeing Paul punch Morrison to the ground that night.
Sira has said the women were friends with Paul and withheld information to protect him.
Morrison was a buildings and grounds employee with the Gloversville Enlarged School District.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com