Man found not guilty

Was charged with manslaughter in altercation death


FONDA — The man who was facing manslaughter charges after an incident that took place on New Year’s Eve was found not guilty on Monday.

Stanley T. Hall, 55, of Canajoharie was charged with second-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter following an altercation that led to the death of his neighbor, Joseph T. Herting.

After a week-long Montgomery County Court trial and an approximate two-day deliberation from the 12 person jury, Hall was found not guilty on both charges, said his attorney Michael Viscosi today.

“We thank the 12 jurors for coming to the right conclusion,” Viscosi said.

The altercation took place on Dec. 31, in which police responded to reports of a man bleeding on the steps of his residence at 71 Walnut St., Canajoharie. Upon arrival, Herting was found on the front stairs and appeared to be critically injured, and Hall was found lying on the sidewalk in front of the residence.

Responding officers immediately began administering first aid to Herting before Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department and Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Corps. arrived, but Herting died from his injuries.

“It’s very unfortunate someone passed away,” Viscosi said.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kelli McCoski, who was the prosecutor for the case, presented several items of evidence and called several witnesses to the stand including an eye witness who saw the fight. Also called to the stand were Dr. Michael Sikirica, Canajoharie Police Chief Bryan MacFadden, Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department members and several EMTs who responded to the scene the night of the altercation. Evidence presented included cell phones, surveillance videos and blood analysis.

Viscosi said he believes it was a surveillance video, which came from a residence across the street, that helped prove Hall was not guilty of the charges.

“The video was instrumental in the verdict,” Viscosi said. “In the footage from across the street it looks like both men fell off the stairs at the same time.”

Viscosi said he also presented evidence in the trial that showed a week before the altercation took place, Hall had called the cops on Herting because he was constantly coming home to the apartment building “drunk and kicking doors.”

Viscosi said a body camera showed Herting disgruntled, while Hall remained calm and quiet. Viscosi said Herting had called Hall — who is a black male — a derogatory slang word.

“That set the ground work,” Viscosi said.

He said the night of the altercation on New Year’s Eve, Hall had been walking home and Herting was waiting on the front porch.

Viscosi said if convicted, his client could have gotten 15 years in prison.

Viscosi said Hall, who is a quiet man with no criminal history, and who is a musician, will go back to working on an album he had started.

“He’s a musician, he’s a guitar player, a singer,” Viscosi said. “He spent the last 15 years in Europe playing professionally.”