The Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office today announced that a Grand Jury has returned an indictment which was unsealed this morning in Schenectady County Court, charging Christopher Smith-Wadsworth of Schenectady (DOB: 04/29/91), with murder in connection with the death of Sutlesh Girdharry of Schenectady (DOB: 11/18/97), on January 1, 2022, on Curry Road in the Town of Rotterdam. The indictment charges Mr. Smith-Wadsworth with three counts: the Class A-I felony of Murder for intentionally causing the death of Mr. Girdharry, the Class B felony of Manslaughter in the First Degree for intending to cause serious physical injury to Mr. Girdharry while causing his death, and the Class D felony of possession of a dangerous instrument with the intent to use it unlawfully against another.
These charges arise from an altercation that took place during the early morning hours of January 1, 2022, in front of a residence on Curry Road. At that location some friends and family members had been celebrating the New Year when people, some of whom had been there previously returned in two cars. A fight broke out between some of the people at the party and some of those who were in the cars. Mr. Smith-Wadsworth is accused of using a knife to stab the unarmed Mr. Girdharry multiple times, causing his death.
It must be emphasized that an indictment is merely a formal accusation and that the defendant is presumed to be innocent. As with anybody accused of a crime, Mr. Smith-Wadsworth is entitled to protection of his constitutional rights, including the right to have a fair trial before a jury of his peers to determine his guilt.
District Attorney Robert M. Carney stated: “I would like to thank the Grand Jury for its hard work and commitment to fulfilling their civic obligations as grand jurors in this case. They heard from 18 individuals over three long days of testimony. The investigation was commenced by personnel from the Rotterdam Police Department with assistance from the New York State Police Forensic Services Unit who processed the crime scene. I am particularly grateful to Rotterdam Detective Connor Lee who extended himself to render assistance to my office at every step of this investigation. The Grand Jury presentation was overseen by two homicide prosecutors: Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Christina Tremante-Pelham and Senior Assistant District Attorney Nicolaus McDonald.”
Schenectady County Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski unsealed the indictment and arraigned Mr. Smith-Wadsworth who is represented by Attorney Kevin Luibrand. He entered a plea of not guilty and was remanded to custody.