2 Ulster County prosecutors resign, accused killer set free
Two prosecutors in Ulster County have now resigned after multiple mistakes in court set an alleged killer free last month.
Raymond Snyder’s 2020 murder case is making headlines in Ulster County - but not because of the crime he was accused of.
They weren’t prepared to try the case appropriately. They were scrambling to put the case together even though it was 19 months old," says Bradford White, Snyder's defense attorney.
White says the case was so severely mishandled by prosecutors that Supreme Court Judge Bryan Rounds had no choice but to dismiss the charges at the start of trial last month.
The case drew intense scrutiny as it unfolded in court and multiple mistakes were reported on, including alleged perjury by testifying police officers, botched evidence, problems with discovery laws and indicting Synder weeks past the legal timeframe to do so after his arrest.
Ultimately, the charges were dismissed when a senior prosecutor assigned to salvage the case refused to participate in the trial after the judge threw out DNA evidence that would have allegedly linked Snyder to the murder of 47-year-old Romero Underwood.
“It’s inexplicable how this many things were missed. It should not have happened," says Ulster County District Attorney David Clegg.
The question now is whether Snyder can be indicted again. There’s the issue of double jeopardy, which may or may not apply, depending on which side of the prosecution you ask.
“We are trying to find a way to prosecute this individual if we can and we are going to pursue every legal avenue we can come up with to do that," says Clegg.
“By the DA not showing up and presenting evidence, Double Jeopardy attaches to this case and it’s not something that would be subject to an appeal," says White.
Prosecutors say they believe Snyder had an accomplice, but no evidence has been found to link another person to the crime.
Whoever fatally shot Romero Underwood remains free.
News 12 reached out to the New York Office of Court Administration and the judge’s chambers for comment but hasn't heard back.
Photo courtesy gunmemorial.org