Redden pleads guilty

Bryan Redden listens to Judge John Hall on Thursday during his plea at the Warren County Courthouse in Queensbury. Redden pleaded guilty to the murders of Crystal Riley and her daughter, Lilly Frasier agreeing to serve up to 44-years-to-life in state prison.

Jenn March, Special to The Post-Star

QUEENSBURY — The Glens Falls man who pleaded guilty last month to killing a woman and her 4-year-old daughter has sent a series of letters to Warren County Judge John Hall and lawyers in his case in recent weeks, seeking to change his plea deal.

Bryan M. Redden wrote that “I did not fully understand” the proposed plea deal when he pleaded guilty Jan. 11, and that he did not want to serve up to life in prison, officials said.

He asked Hall to schedule a court date before his sentencing next month to “put on the record my lack of understanding,” and wrote that he would rather have a cap on his sentence of 50 years instead of up to 44-years-to-life.

Redden wrote that he did not understand that sentences for the murder charges could run concurrently instead of consecutively, and he “may not have entered the plea that I had.”

But he added that his earlier statements in court were not “falsified” or perjured.

“If you would please allow me to come before the court to put on record my lack of understanding, while also considering the sentence stated above, I would appreciate it,” he wrote.

Under state law, murder charges are punishable by mandatory sentences of up to life in prison, so his sentence cannot legally be capped at a determinate number.

Redden’s lawyer, Martin McGuinness, acknowledged Redden has written letters since his plea, questioning the proposed sentence. He said he believes the confusion stems at least in part from the complicated state sentencing rules regarding first-degree murder.

Redden is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8. In light of the correspondence, Warren County Judge John Hall may bring him in to court for a judicial inquiry beforehand to discuss his concerns.

But McGuinness said there was no indication that his client would formally seek to change his plea as of Friday.

“At this juncture, I do not plan on attempting to withdraw his plea,” McGuinness said. “No new (court) date other than sentencing has been scheduled.”

Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone said he had no comment on the matter as of Friday.

Redden, 21, pleaded guilty Jan. 11 to first-degree murder, counts of second-degree murder and lesser charges for the Aug. 11 killings of Crystal L. Riley, 33, and her 4-year-old daughter, Lilly Frasier, in their South Street, Glens Falls apartment.

He admitted he slit both of their throats with a kitchen knife. Redden told police he had been involved in a short-term romantic relationship with Riley, but he did not explain what led to the killings. He told police he had used heroin beforehand.

Redden was a former carnival rides worker from West Virginia in 2016 who stayed in the Glens Falls area after working at a county fair in the region.

He is being held in Warren County Jail without bail, pending further court action.

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reporter

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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