Leon Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison on Perjury Convictions Made False Statements to Grand Jury During an Arson-Homicide Investigation
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Edward A. Leon, 43, of St. Johnsville, New York, was sentenced Thursday, March 10, 2016 to be imprisoned for the statutory maximum of 10 years, based upon his trial conviction on two counts of making false declarations before a federal grand jury, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Delano A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) New York Field Division. Senior U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe also sentenced Leon to a 3-year term of post-imprisonment supervised release and to pay a special assessment of $200.
United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said: “The defendant’s perjury was the most serious imaginable – a purposeful, flagrant attempt to avoid scrutiny in an investigation into an arson murder – and deserved this maximum sentence. The defendant’s deception was deadly, as he left the occupants at 438 Hulett Street to die rather than risk scrutiny for his activities. We remain completely committed to securing justice for the victims and their families. We are grateful for the outstanding work and dedication of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Schenectady Police Department, and of the Schenectady Fire Department.”
10 years for lying?
ATF Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid said: “The deadly events of May 2, 2013 have rocked the residents of Schenectady as they resulted in the death of three innocent children and their father. Similarly, the assigned law enforcement community has also been stymied by the mistruths and inconsistencies perpetrated by Mr. Leon. While his lies have affected our momentum in identifying those involved in the arson, today we can take some solace knowing that the defendant will serve the maximum sentence he can receive for impeding the investigation. Rest assured, the quadruple homicide investigation will continue to be our utmost priority, as it is our legal and moral obligation to incarcerate those person(s) responsible for such a heinous act. It is our hope that today’s sentence, combined with the additional monies that have been offered by the Mohawk Valley Crimestoppers, can incite the interest this case so deserves. Sa’fyre Terry deserves nothing less.”
A three day trial culminated in Leon’s conviction on November 12, 2015. Leon was convicted as charged for two false declarations that Leon made in testimony before a grand jury conducting an investigation into the fire on May 2, 2013 at 438 Hulett Street in Schenectady, New York, which caused the deaths of David Terry and three young children, seriously injured another child, and destroyed the building and the personal property inside.
Leon falsely testified regarding his travel on May 2, 2013, claiming that he had driven straight from the Cumberland Farms in Palatine Bridge to work in Amsterdam, New York, when he had actually driven first to Schenectady, was driving on Hamilton Street near its intersection with Hulett Street, and was in the area of 438 Hulett Street at the time of the fire. Leon also falsely testified in denying that he had used a particular telephone to send text messages to David Terry, some of which were threatening, from April 25 to 29, 2013.
Did Leon start the fire? Judge may have hyped up sentence for perjury in lack of evidence…
The evidence at trial showed that: Leon purchased and activated a phone on April 25, 2013, which he used to threaten David Terry anonymously, as “the undertaker,” with words like “you’re not going to make it to your wedding day,” “die, Dave, die,” and “you’re a dead man walking.” When those threats apparently did not deter Terry from continuing his relationship with Leon’s girlfriend, Leon went to confront Terry under cover of early morning darkness. Leon said he saw a small fire in the front porch right by the door, with flames maybe two feet high, and left – without alerting the people inside, calling the fire department, the police department, or 911, because he did not want anyone to suspect him. Leon did not tell anyone, and lied about his involvement to a St. Johnsville Police Officer on May 2, 2013; to a Schenectady Police Detective on June 19, 2013; to ATF agents on November 14, 2013; to the grand jury on November 22, 2013; and to agents again on January 2, 2014, before admitting that day that he had lied about the phone and his activities on May 2.
This case was investigated by the ATF, the Schenectady Police Department, and the Schenectady Fire Department. The case was prosecuted by First Assistant U. S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Assistant United States Attorney Wayne A. Myers.
Further questions or inquiries may be directed to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaquith at
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives notes that there is a reward of up to a total of $40,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the arson that occurred on May 2, 2013 at 438 Hulett Street in Schenectady, resulting in personal injury and death. All information will be treated confidentially and the callers will remain anonymous if requested. Anyone having information should call the ATF Albany Field Office at 518-431-4182, or email [email protected] (link sends e-mail).