Updated 09/29/2011 01:29 PM
Slocum indicted on 11 counts in Washington County
Forty-seven days after he was taken into custody, Matthew Slocum was indicted in Washington County. He's charged with the murder of three people, including his mother. Matt Hunter reports.
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FORT EDWARD, N.Y. – Outfitted in a bullet-proof vest, 23-year-old Matthew Slocum was indicted on 11 counts Wednesday at the Washington County Courthouse.
The most serious of the charges: Three counts of second degree murder and one count of third degree arson. Slocum pleaded not guilty to all 11 counts.
"It's difficult at this time to comment on what the defense strategy is going to be, but we're leaving all of the options open for the defendant," said Michael Mercure, the Washington County Public Defender and Slocum’s attorney.
Investigators say on July 13th, Slocum broke into the home of his mother, Lisa Harrington, in Eagle Bridge, shot and killed her, along with her husband, Dan Harrington, and his son, Joshua O'Brien, before burning their house down and fleeing to New Hampshire in his mother's Ford Mustang.
On Tuesday, Mercure filed a motion to have Slocum released from custody because the grand jury indictment hadn't been filed within 45 days from when he was taken into custody. That motion was filed early Wednesday and the arraignment proceeded.
"No matter how serious the charge, the defendant still has rights. The laws are pretty clear that from the time you're held over for grand jury action, the prosecution has 45 days to file an indictment," Mercure said.
"I mean, it's a frivolous motion, there wasn't any merit to it, so we really were not worried about the motion," Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said.
The indictment came roughly one month after Slocum was deemed fit to stand trial.
District Attorney Kevin Kortright says the delay was caused by having to wait for certain lab tests to come back, in addition to not having access to certain witnesses right away.
"Certain witnesses we had to wait for several days to testify because they were busy at other courts, but no real delay, just normal processing of the murder," Kortright said.
At one point, Slocum was in protective custody due to fears he might intentionally harm himself inside his jail cell. Mercure says that is no longer the case and that he's back in the general population.
The remaining charges include one count of tampering with physical evidence, one count of petit larceny, two counts of grand larceny, two counts of attempted grand larceny and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.
Slocum is due back in court December 16th.