Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel E. Abelove announced today that Michael K. Hoffler, age 35, was convicted by a jury of Murder in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, and Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-I felony. The verdict came today following a near three week-long trial in Rensselaer County Court.
Convicted drug dealer Michael Hoffler was originally convicted in Rensselaer County Court in the 2003 killing of an Albany Police informant, who was set to testify against him. In 2008, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial due to a court error in administering the “oath of truthfulness”.
At the retrial, the jury found that Hoffler is guilty of the December 30, 2003, killing of Christopher Drabik. As a result of the conviction, the People will be seeking the maximum sentence allowable by law: life in prison without the possibility of parole. The defendant will be sentenced on Wednesday, March 15, 2016, at the Rensselaer County Courthouse, before the Honorable Andrew G. Ceresia.
Abelove said, “Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to Christopher Drabik’s family, who has endured this grueling process with amazing strength. Let this verdict send the message to anyone even thinking about harming a witness that we will use every resource to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, no matter how long it takes.”
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