Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly announced today that D’Andre Jones, 22, of Troy NY was convicted after a jury trial conducted before the Honorable Jennifer G. Sober in Rensselaer County Court. The defendant was found guilty by a Rensselaer County Jury of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class B Violent felony for the death of Azaiah Carter. The defendant will face a maximum of 25 years in state prison at the time of his sentencing.
On August 18, 2015, the defendant, along with three other individuals occupied a Black Chevy Malibu in the area of Earl Street and Hutton Street in the City of Troy. The driver, D’Andre Jones exited a vehicle in that area and fired three rounds at Kadeion Mays and Azaiah Carter. Both Mays and Carter were struck by the gun fire. Carter ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
Troy Police Department Sergeant Dave Dean was nearby and heard the gunshots and pursued the Chevy Malibu through Troy onto Alternate Route7 all the way to Interstate 87 where the vehicle stopped. Dean, without backup present ordered the occupants out of the vehicle and ultimately apprehended all four occupants. Four handguns were recovered and initially all occupants were charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree as a result of the valiant efforts of Sergeant Dean.
Ultimately a homicide prosecution was not sought by the prior administration of the District Attorney’s Office based on a reluctance to proceed with what was then viewed as an unwinnable case. In 2019, members of the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of newly elected District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly, met with then Captain Joseph Centanni of the Troy Police Department to discuss cases that were not considered for prosecution by the past administration including but not limited to the homicide of Azaiah Carter. A determination was made that this homicide was in fact prosecutable and the matter was assigned to Detective Sergeant Thomas Feeley of the Troy Police Department and Assistant District Attorney Cheryl McDermott. It was the tireless work of these individuals and the constant inter-departmental coordination that led to an indictment of the defendant in April of 2019. The case, delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, was ultimately brought to trial which commenced on October 4, 2021. After approximately one week of testimony and two days of deliberation, a jury convicted D’Andre Jones of Manslaughter in the First Degree.
“This case presented with many difficulties. The blatant lack of cooperation from the other shooting victim, witnesses and other members located within the car led to a prosecution based on forensic and circumstantial evidence. I believe that the lack of cooperation stems from a general view of many citizens not wanting to involve themselves in the criminal justice system. These difficulties were amplified by the passage of time from the initial incident as well as the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down New York Courts for over a year. Regardless of these hurdles, my office, and the Troy Police Department sought to deliver justice for Azaiah Carter and his family. I would like to thank the Troy Police Department and Assistant District Attorney Cheryl McDermott for their relentless pursuit of justice in this case. Without constant communication with and cooperation by our partners in law enforcement this prosecution would not have been possible” said District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly.
Jones is scheduled for sentencing in Rensselaer County Court before the Honorable Jennifer G. Sober on December 9, 2021. The case was prosecuted by ADA Cheryl McDermott and ADA Cassidy Milam.