Corinth man gets 20 years for murder

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CORINTH, NY – Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announces that Dylan K. Vella (dob 6/21/1993) of Angel Road, Corinth, New York was sentenced today in Saratoga County Court by Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III, on one count of Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-1 felony in violation of Penal Law Section 125.25(1), two counts of Assault in the First Degree, class “B” violent felonies, in violation of Penal Law Section 120.10(1), one count of Assault in the Second Degree, a class “D” violent felony, in violation of Penal Law Section 120.05(2) and one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a class “D” violent felony, in violation of Penal Law Section 130.65(1).

The defendant received a sentence of 20 years to life for the murder of Paul Hollenbeck. With respect to the two counts of Assault in the First Degree, the defendant received a determinate sentence of 15 years. Defendant received a determinate sentence of 7 years for the Assault in the Second Degree conviction and a sentence of 7 years for the Sexual Abuse in the First Degree conviction. He was also sentenced to the maximum periods of post-release supervision for each of the determinate sentences.  Judge Murphy directed that the sentences all run concurrently. The defendant is also required to register as a Sex Offender under SORA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act).

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Defendant Vella had been charged by way of a 23 count Indictment with crimes perpetrated in two different jurisdictions within Saratoga County on April 7, 2020.

Vella was charged with intentionally driving his vehicle into and striking 4 motorcyclists in the Town of Corinth, killing one and causing serious physical injury to two persons and physical injury to another. As a result, Vella had been indicted on fifteen counts, including multiple counts of Murder in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree.

Earlier on the same day in April, 2020, in the Town of Hadley, Vella sexually and physically assaulted a woman, and forcibly stole property from another woman at the Stewart’s Pond picnic area. Vella was indicted on eight counts including top counts of Attempted Rape in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree and Robbery in the Second Degree.

One of the victims who was injured in the crash recounted at the sentencing today that “I physically hurt every day. But there are days that I welcome the physical pain. . . as to take the focus away from the pain I feel in my mind and heart.” She also told the defendant, “I want you to have a life sentence, because that’s exactly what we have been given.”

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Another victim’s statement detailed the extent of his injuries, including “severe broken bones in my left leg. My leg now has bars and screws holding my bones back together. Both ankles also have bars and screws as well as my hip.” He went on to state “whatever sentence you are handed is not enough compared to what you did.”

Senior Assistant District Attorney Shawn Lescault remarked that there are “no words to adequately describe the tragedy that brings us here today…. this defendant [Vella] boldly and deliberately ended the life of Paul Hollenbeck”.  Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III noted that there is nothing the court can do to make the victims whole.  Judge Murphy took the time to read into the record the information prepared by the Saratoga County Probation Department about the victim Paul Hollenbeck- how much he touched many peoples’ lives and how talented he was.

District Attorney Heggen noted that “Each of the charges the defendant was sentenced for today represents a conviction for each victim harmed on April 7, 2020.  No sentence can heal the injuries suffered by the many victims, but does reflect the seriousness of the incident.  The sentence for Murder in the 2nd degree of 20 years to life provides that our criminal justice system will have oversight of the defendant for the rest of his life.” 

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 District Attorney Heggen also commended the efforts of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office in conducting a thorough investigation of Defendant Vella’s crime spree in the Towns of Hadley and Corinth.  Heggen also thanked the Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Unit for their outstanding work in reconstructing a complex, multi-vehicle crash scene. Heggen also commended the work of the countless first responders and good Samaritans, including members of Jessup’s Landing EMS, Corinth EMS and the Corinth Fire Department, for their work in rendering aid to the victims.

DA Heggen recognized the efforts of Senior Assistant District Attorneys Michele Schettino and Shawn M. Lescault, who prosecuted the case, Crime Victim Specialist Ashley Kitts and DA Investigators Michael Wells and Jack Barney. With the cooperation of our law enforcement partners and witnesses to these crimes we were able to bring justice to the victims and their families today.