QUEENSBURY — The Glens Falls man who allegedly stabbed another man to death last month has been indicted on murder and manslaughter charges in a six-count indictment filed late Tuesday.
Jesse J. Breault was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault and lesser weapon and evidence-tampering counts in connection with the May 24 death of 36-year-old Christopher J. Goss
The murder charge alleges he intentionally killed Goss, the manslaughter charge accuses him of causing the death of another person when trying to seriously injure him.
The indictment does not name Breault’s live-in girlfriend, who police said accompanied Breault to confront Goss when the fatal stabbing occurred in a parking lot off Quaker Road. The woman, Ashley N. Bell, 29, of Queensbury, was charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution, both felonies.
Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone said charges remain pending against Bell, but he could not comment on the next steps in her case.
She has been released from jail, however, and cases where defendants are not in jail typically don’t lead to indictments as quickly as those for jailed defendants. Prosecutors seek to avoid having to produce evidence for preliminary hearings for those accused of felonies who are in jail.
Under state law, a preliminary hearing must be held in a felony case within 144 hours of a person being jailed, unless the defense waives the hearing. Breault’s counsel initially waived the time constraints for the hearing.
No arraignment date had been set for Breault in Warren County Court, though the arraignment could take place as early as Friday.
Breault was represented by the Warren County Public Defender’s Office at his initial court appearances. But he has since hired lawyer Derrick Hogan from the Albany firm Tully Rinckey PLLC.
Hogan said Wednesday that a not guilty plea will be entered on his client’s behalf, but he would not comment further.
Breault told a Post-Star reporter at his arraignment that he acted in self-defense, but did not elaborate.
Hogan would not say Wednesday if that defense would be pursued, however.
Breault faces up to 25-years-to-life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder, with possible consecutive sentences for the evidence and weapon counts. He is being held in Warren County Jail, pending arraignment June 12 before Warren County Judge John Hall.
Both Breault and Bell were on probation at the time for separate prior convictions. Breault was on probation for a felony burglary conviction.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office determined that Bell and Goss’s girlfriend, Ali Barton of Queensbury, had been embroiled in some sort of dispute that led to Goss and Breault meeting up to fight at about 4 a.m. that day. Breault allegedly brought a large knife that was used to stab Goss in the abdomen.
Goss made his way to a home on nearby Meadow Lane, where he collapsed and bled to death in the front yard.
Breault’s family said at his arraignment that Goss had made threats toward Bell.
Goss was a former teacher in the Waterford school district who had recently been working in the real estate industry, according to his obituary. He had also formerly operated a bar in Glens Falls called McGinney’s Tavern.
His family asked that memorial donations in his name be made to Lake George Land Conservancy.