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Special prosecutor eyes in case of attempted murder of ex-Albany police officer Michael Barone

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RENSSELAER – Michael S. Barone was an Army paratrooper, lawyer and over 20 years veteran of the Albany Police Department.

Michael Brothers served jail time for an armed robbery against a man in 2009 outside a private social club in Albany.

Unlikely friends who apparently met months ago at a Central Avenue strip club, they are now on the other side of an attempted murder case: Barone, 55, retired police lieutenant and a former municipal court candidate, is accused of shooting Brothers, 35, a convicted felon and convicted pot trafficker, in the leg inside the brothers’ apartment in downtown Rensselaer on October 19.

Barone first came to the aid of Brothers after his friend told him he was robbed during a home invasion. The brothers said Barone later accused him of lying, shot him and then drove him to the hospital at Albany Medical Center.

At the hospital, a witness told police, Barone told Brothers he loved her. And then, before the alleged shooter was taken to a room for apparent police questioning, Brothers told Barone to “say they were two black men,” the witness told police.

The bizarre chain of events was described in court documents obtained by the Times Union.


In a statement, Brothers said he contacted Barone after three men, including one he wanted to sell marijuana to, robbed him at gunpoint from his $ 1,200 apartment and just 4 ounces of marijuana. after midnight Tuesday.

The brothers told police he couldn’t reach Barone, so he went to his home on Central Avenue in Colony.

“I told Mike what had happened,” Brothers said. “Mike put on his gun, vest, gas mask and tactical pants. Then we both got into his (Mercedes) SL 550 and headed back to my house.”

The brothers said they watched “The Sopranos” for about 10 minutes, then he went to bed. When he got up the next morning, Brothers saw Barone in the kitchen wearing his jewelry.

“I asked Mike what he was doing and he pulled out a gun and pointed it at my chest and started saying I was lying to him,” Brothers told police. “I told him to remove the gun from my face and he lowered it. I walked into the living room – then boom. He shot me. I fell on the couch.”

Brothers said he grabbed a shirt, ran downstairs, and told a neighbor he was shot.

“Then,” Brothers told police, “Mike came down and said, ‘Let’s go,’ and we got in my Lincoln and he drove me to the hospital.”

The brothers told police no one else had been in the apartment, adding: “Mike only fired one shot.”

The brothers told police he and Barone had met several months earlier at the Shenanigans strip club in Colony.

Brothers pleaded guilty in 2009 to attempted robbery of a 34-year-old man outside Club Azzurri, a social club on North Allen Street. Brothers and other attackers planned to ambush the victim, who was pistol whipped and stolen $ 10,000. The thieves were arrested after using the man’s cell phone to call each other. Brothers was paroled in 2013.

Barone, a native of Brooklyn and a former resident of Long Island, is charged with attempted second degree murder, first degree assault and possession of a weapon. Court documents show Barone had three loaded gun magazines, two with 13 rounds and two more with 12 rounds and one in the chamber. He faces 25 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges. He pleaded not guilty.

Barone’s son and two supporters were in attendance for a court appearance on Friday morning.

“Of course this court is aware of my client’s stellar record,” Barone’s defense attorney Steven Raiser told County Judge Jennifer Sober, noting that Barone had trained police officers. “He has been an honest citizen for many, many years and has a series of accomplishments.”

Barone, who has no track record, is not a flight risk, said Raiser, who represents Barone alongside lawyer Melissa Carpinello.

Columbia County Deputy Assistant Chief Prosecutor Ryan Carty has asked the judge to keep Barone locked up without bail in the Rensselaer County Jail. District Attorney Paul Czajka’s office was appointed special prosecutor after Rensselaer County prosecutor Mary Pat Donnelly, married to a retired police inspector from Albany, recused herself over potential conflict of interest .

Sober posted a bond of $ 25,000.

In court proceedings on Friday, when Barone appeared virtually in Rensselaer City Court, Barone attempted to speak more than once – against his attorney’s wishes.

Judge Kathleen Robichaud told Barone and his lawyer that he had to surrender any guns he owned within 24 hours of being released on bail under a protection order she signed.

“Hello, Your Honor, I would like to speak, please,” Barone asked.

The judge cut him off.

“Wait, sir,” she said to the accused.

Robichaud asked Raiser if he was advising Barone to talk about the court case without knowing what he was going to talk about.

“I advise you, Michael, not to speak,” Raiser told Barone, noting that they had already addressed the issue and could speak to it later.

‘Yes, counselor,’ said Barone.

Barone, once again, made some impromptu remarks. He told Raiser he was a hunter who “had just paid thousands of dollars” and wanted to know the impact of the protection order, which Barone called “OP.”

Raiser and the judge reminded Barone – a lawyer who appeared at Albany City Court in 2017 – that the order was temporary and could be changed.