Kidnapping co-defendant held on capital murder
JOHNSTOWN — The second man indicted in connection with last August’s kidnapping and assault in Gloversville, Frank Brandon, was due to stand trial in Fulton County Court last week alongside the now convicted Delaney Akins, but the cases were severed after Brandon was taken into federal custody on a possible capital murder charge.
According to a written decision signed by Fulton County Court Judge Polly Hoye on April 25 and obtained by The Leader-Herald, after Akins and Brandon’s cases were consolidated following motions filed by Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown in December, “Brandon was transferred to federal custody and is purportedly undergoing capital review for a murder charge he is facing.”
Brandon, 32, of 73 Park St., Gloversville, was taken into custody by Gloversville police on Dec. 5 following his indictment on a charge of first-degree hindering the prosecution, a class D felony, by a Fulton County grand jury for his alleged role in the kidnapping and assault of a Gloversville man at 15 James St. between Aug. 15 and 21.
Hoye’s decision notes that Brown sought to have Brandon produced in Fulton County Court for his pre-trial hearings, but the U.S. Attorney General’s Office “would not consent” and indicated that Brandon would not be produced until after the completion of a federal review of his case as a potential capital murder case that is expected to take at least six months.
Hoye ultimately ordered separate trials for Akins and Brandon, commencing with Akins’ trial on May 6 as originally scheduled.
No additional Fulton County Court dates have been set for Brandon who was transferred to federal custody and arraigned on a four count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Feb. 11 for allegedly committing a 2014 gang-related murder, according to a release on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York’s website.
Brandon is accused of shooting and killing Gashier Mendy inside of the St. Nicholas Houses at 240 W. 129th St. in Manhattan on Feb. 23, 2014. Federal authorities allege that Brandon was a member of the “Milla Bloods” gang that operated in Manhattan and engaged in racketeering activity.
Brandon was indicted on charges of murder in aid of racketeering, murder through the use of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamines and marijuana.
Brandon is facing a mandatory minimum penalty of death or life in prison on the federal charges against him.
Brandon was held in the Fulton County Correctional Facility without bail in connection with last summer’s kidnapping and assault before being transferred to federal custody.
While the victim stated in both Gloversville City Court and Fulton County Court that Akins was the only individual who harmed him while he was held last summer, Brown said in December that the charges against Brandon stem from the investigation into the incident that led police to believe that Brandon was aware at the time of the victim’s alleged imprisonment and assault by Akins.
According to Brown, Brandon is “believed to have provided assistance to Mr. Akins in the kidnapping and assault.”
Akins, 27, of 260 W. 131st St., Manhattan, was found guilty of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree assault evincing a depraved indifference to human life, first-degree assault with intent to cause serious physical injury with the use of a dangerous instrument and third-degree aggravated sexual abuse on Friday following a weeklong jury trial in Fulton County Court.
Akins is scheduled for sentencing on July 25 and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life imprisonment.
Akins was charged following a grand jury indictment handed up in Fulton County Court on Nov. 16. Akins was arrested at 15 James St. in Gloversville on Aug. 21 when he was located there by officers executing a search warrant at the building after a severely injured man was located by Gloversville police wandering on Kingsboro Avenue earlier that day wearing only boxer shorts, a T-shirt and a towel on his head.
The man told police he had been kidnapped on Aug. 15 and assaulted at the James Street address. He said he continued to be confined at the building until he found an opportunity to leave on Aug. 21 while the building occupants slept off a night of partying. The victim of the assault provided this account and identified Akins as his assailant during the first day of the trial against Akins on May 7.