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Special Investigations Bureau Chief for the District Attorney's Office
HQ Phone:  (845) 454-2000
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85 Civic Center Plaza
Poughkeepsie, New York,12601
The Poughkeepsie Journal annually provides thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of volunteer time to assist needy families and nonprofit organizations through three main channels: Gannett Foundation: A philanthropic foundation sponsored by Gannett, the... more.
Dutchess Couty District Attorney
Senior Assistant District Attorney
the New York
PoughkeepsieJournal.com - Persistence yielded arrest in stabbing
There's a sense of satisfaction that comes with big breaks in long-unsolved cases, said Siegrist and Edward Whitesell, special investigations bureau chief for the Dutchess County District Attorney's Office. Whitesell, who also was at the crime scene and has been assigned to the case for years, said it helps the victim's family when long-term cases are solved. "Even 14 years later, the closure is still important to them," he said."That allows the police to know who their contacts are," Whitesell said."Constant contact with older witnesses yields potential new witnesses," Whitesell said."One of the things that opened the door was the change in technology." Police were able to use DNA technology developed since the murder to reevaluate the physical evidence in the case, Whitesell said. While there was no "smoking gun" type of DNA evidence, the technology led authorities to new witnesses and new leads. "In the course of this kind of investigation, when you don't have early suspects ... you tend to gather lots of physical evidence," Whitesell said. Authorities were able to determine new connections between the witnesses and suspects, which helped lead to the latest developments in the case, Whitesell said. Careful paperwork also is crucial, especially in a case as old as Vertullo's, Whitesell and Siegrist said. "Documentation and paperwork make a huge difference," Whitesell said.Just as important is the authorities' desire to solve the case, Whitesell said -- a desire he sees in the City of Poughkeepsie police. "Every day there's a new series of cases, a new series of arrests," he said."There's always at least one or two or three detectives with an interest in the investigation to take those free moments to review the files. "It's the constant willingness to continue, a dogged persistence," he said. Kathianne Boniello can be reached at email@example.com.
In court proceedings described by Senior Assistant District Attorney Ed Whitesell as very dramatic, to say the least, family and friends of Sara McCausland and Evelina Brown spoke of the immense loss caused by the young womens deaths.
Among those speaking in the courtroom was McCauslands 17-year-old sister, Victoria, who talked about the profound effect her sisters death has had on her, Whitesell said. It was really quite tear-jerking, Whitesell said. Whitesell said that Boeck apologized to the families, saying I know this will ring hollow, but I want the families of Sarah and Evelina to know how very, very sorry I am.
At the time, Senior Assistant District Attorney Ed Whitesell said because evidence had been destroyed and witnesses were no longer available, the District Attorneys Office would not try Bozella for a third time.
Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Ed Whitesell, the prosecutor in the case, said the parents of the victims approved of the sentence, which he called "significant" for someone Boeck's age.
He said the sentence is "consistent" with those in similar cases.
County Senior Assistant District Attorney Edward Whitesell said there is significant evidence pointing to Boecks guilt in the crash, including a cell phone belonging to Brown being found wedged between the bumper and the grill of Boecks Jeep Wrangler at the time of her arrest.
He said authorities also found DNA belonging to both Brown and McCausland on Boecks vehicle and that the prosecution has videos of Boeck at the Shell gas station at state Routes 9G and 199 and at the Dutchess County Sheriffs Office that show that she was highly intoxicated following the crash. Video we received from the Shell station shows her at that station after the crash but before the sheriffs got there, Whitesell said. Based upon her behavior, she was highly intoxicated. Tests conducted at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck immediately following her arrest show that Boeck had a 0.23 percent blood alcohol content, nearly three times the states threshold for drunken driving, Whitesell said. That kind of sentence, Whitesell said, may be tantamount to a life sentence, due to Boecks age and health.