NY NY - Amanda 'Mandy' Steingasser, 17, North Tonawanda, 20 Sept 1993

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by JusticeWillBeServed, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. JusticeWillBeServed

    JusticeWillBeServed Well-Known Member

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    Detectives relieved new DA will reopen Mandy Steingasser murder case

    Unsolved ’93 murder of teen is still being worked - September 2013

    mandy steingasser.jpg
     
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  2. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    A tragic yet interesting case. Surprisingly there doesn't seem to be much interest in it.
     
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  3. four4rock

    four4rock Member

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    http://buffalonews.com/2018/04/25/m...ing-of-north-tonawanda-high-school-classmate/

    Man charged in 1993 cold case slaying of North Tonawanda High School classmate... A Town of Tonawanda man has been arrested in connection with the 1993 slaying of North Tonawanda High School student Mandy Steingasser.

    Joseph Belstadt, 43, a classmate of Steingasser's who has been a suspect since the earliest days of the investigation, was charged with second-degree murder 24 1/2 years after the 17-year-old senior was killed... Belstadt was arrested by North Tonawanda police Monday night at his Town of Tonawanda home.
     
  4. JusticeWillBeServed

    JusticeWillBeServed Well-Known Member

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    Judge sets new schedule in Steingasser murder case
     
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  5. JusticeWillBeServed

    JusticeWillBeServed Well-Known Member

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    Suspect's lawyer: Evidence in North Tonawanda murder case should be tossed
     
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  6. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Hearings in North Tonawanda cold case killing are postponed
    Jan 29 2019 rbbm.
    "Joseph H. Belstadt, 43, of the Town of Tonawanda, was charged April 24 with strangling Steingasser in September 1993. He pleaded not guilty.

    The hearings, which were to be held next week, now are scheduled Feb. 25 and 26. Wojtaszek said the defense sought more time to review evidence prosecutors have turned over. The trial is scheduled to start July 1.

    The hearings will determine whether prosecutors may use Belstadt's statements to police since 1993; evidence taken from his bedroom and car without a search warrant in 1993; and testimony from men who spent time in prison with Belstadt, who was convicted of arson in 1996."
     
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  7. AutumnAkasha

    AutumnAkasha Member

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    Informants testify in 26-year-old Niagara County murder case
    "Informants testify in 26-year-old Niagara County murder case
    Joseph Belstadt stands accused of murder in connection with the death of a high school acquaintance in 1993, a crime for which he had long been suspected, but not formally charged until 2018.

    Author: Dave McKinley
    Published: 7:27 PM EST February 27, 2019
    Updated: 7:57 PM EST February 27, 2019
    LOCKPORT, N.Y. — A pre-trial hearing in Niagara County Court provided new insight into what may have happened in the 1993 murder of 17-year-old Mandy Steingasser of North Tonawanda.

    It came in the form of testimony from two men who were behind bars with Joseph Belstadt, when he was serving time on charges unrelated to Steingasser’s murder.


    Police had long suspected Belstadt, now 43, of killing Steingasser.

    However, he wasn’t charged until last April, some 25 years after the crime occurred.

    Carlos Rodriguez testified that he met Belstadt while both were inmates at the Niagara County jail in 1995.

    While on the stand Wednesday, he recalled that his girlfriend at the time had been friends with Steingasser, and that when she learned the two were locked up together, she asked him to beat up Belstadt.

    Instead, Rodriguez said the two became friendly.

    It was during a conversation in the jail that Rodriguez claims Belstadt told him that when the North Tonawanda teen's body was found near Bond Lake Park she had been strangled, and that her bra was still around her neck.

    "I thought, how would he know that? I knew someone's daughter had been killed. I felt bad and wanted to help," Rodriguez testified.

    Rodriguez says he shared that information with police, who he said asked him to try and find out more.

    Christopher Grassi, who lives in the Binghamton area, testified that he became acquainted with Belstadt while both were doing time in state prison for arson related charges.

    Both were housed at the Cayuga Correctional Facility in Moravia.

    Grassi claimed that Belstadt told him Steingasser had been partying with him and a buddy, and that the buddy (who has never been identified) ended up having sex with Steingasser in the back seat of Belstadt's car.

    Recalling one alleged conversation while referring to Belstadt by his prison nickname, Squirrely, Grassi testified, “Squirrelly wanted to join in. She wanted no part of that. One thing led to another, and they ended up strangling her. ... They took her out of the car and put her in some woods someplace."

    Grassi claimed this was at around the time North Tonawanda police showed up at the prison where Belstadt was being held, seeking information about a murder case. He ended up speaking to them three times according to an exhibit placed before the court.


    When cross examining the witnesses, Belstadt’s lawyers sought to establish that neither was credible while suggesting that they said what they did in order to make things better for themselves.

    At one point, Grassi acknowledged that he spoke with police, “probably to help myself … I wouldn't talk to anyone without a benefit."

    Both men insisted they got nothing for their cooperation.

    Rodriguez, who said he has had a clean record since the early 1990s, ended up serving eight years on a drug charge.

    Belstadt’s lawyers noted, however, that after talking to police Rodriguez – who prior to being sent to state prison had been accused of having his girlfriend smuggle marijuana to him in the county jail – was never charged with promoting prison contraband.

    They also noted that not long after sharing information with police, Grassi was released by a parole board which received a letter from the Niagara County District Attorney's office informing it of his cooperation.

    “I never knew of that letter before today,” Grassi insisted.

    Both witnesses had trouble recalling the timeline surrounding their conversations with police all those years ago.

    But it may be crucial to the case going forward.

    If they went to the police with the information that's one thing.

    However, if the police approached them first and asked them to try and solicit that information from Belstadt, then the defense may claim they were acting as agents of the police, and move that their testimony be ruled inadmissible at Belstadt's trial which is currently schedule for September."
     
  8. AutumnAkasha

    AutumnAkasha Member

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    Attorney conflicts resolved in Steingasser murder case
    "Attorney conflicts resolved in Steingasser murder case
    COURT: Hearing on admissibility of evidence set for next week.
    LOCKPORT -- Conflict questions that had clouded Joseph Belstadt's upcoming trial for the murder of Mandy Steingasser appear to be resolved.

    Defense attorneys Dominic Saraceno and Michelle Bergevin agreed there were no conflicts between them and seven potential prosecution witnesses in the case who have previously been represented by the Niagara County Public Defender's office. Saraceno and Bergevin have both worked as public defenders in the past, but did not personally appear on behalf of any of the seven possible witnesses.

    The seven former public defender clients are among a list of 600 potential prosecution witnesses in the case.


    Also on that witness list is Belstadt's former wife, who was represented in her divorce proceedings against the accused killer by an attorney who formerly worked in Bergevin's office. Bergevin said the attorney, Dawn Kornaker, is no longer employed with her firm and that she did not even recognize Belstadt's wife's name on the witness list.

    “I don’t have any confidential information about (her),” Bergevin told Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon during a hearing Wednesday.

    Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek told Sheldon that Belstadt's ex-wife could be an important witness for prosecutors because she has knowledge of "prior bad acts" by him after Steingasser’s murder and because he had made statements to her that expressed "conscious or guilt."

    Sheldon ruled that despite "divided case law" Belsadt's former wife did not need to sign a conflict waiver because the cases did not involve similar conduct. She called a divorce "very different from a murder trial."

    Belstadt also agreed to waive any potential conflicts for his defense team.

    "The attorneys I’ve chosen, they’ve been up front with me, they’ve been great; great relationship,” he said.

    Belstadt now faces two days of pre-trial hearings next Monday and Tuesday to address issues such as the possible suppression of statements he has made to police over the past 25 years, as well as evidence seized by investigators executing search warrants connected to the case.

    The hearings will also determine whether prosecutors can take testimony from what has been described as “jailhouse informants” with knowledge related to the case.

    Belstadt’s defense team has said they believe evidence seized when their client was arrested should be barred from his trial. Sheldon has said she will listen to arguments seeking to suppress search warrants used to take items from his home and car.

    Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin July 1. The trial is expected to last four weeks.

    Belstadt was arrested on the evening of April 24 by North Tonawanda police. After cops talked him out of the vehicle, Belstadt was charged with the murder of Steingasser.



    A North Tonawanda native, Belstadt has been the prime suspect for police since Steingasser disappeared in the early morning hours of Sept. 19, 1993. Steingasser, then 17, was last seen alive at around 1:30 a.m. at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Oliver Street in North Tonawanda.

    Information developed by investigators looking into her disappearance pointed to Belstadt as the last person she had been with before vanishing. Witnesses told police they saw Steingasser getting into Belstadt’s car.

    When detectives wanted to speak with him, they said Belstadt was uncooperative. And he wasn’t any more cooperative, five weeks later, when Steingasser’s body was discovered and recovered from Bond Lake in Lewiston.

    Investigators recovered evidence from the scene, including DNA, but much of it was degraded. Police and prosecutors concluded then that they lacked enough evidence to present the case to a grand jury or to arrest Belstadt.

    North Tonawanda detectives continued to work the case, repeatedly going back to the public seeking additional information, including staging a re-enactment of Steingasser’s disappearance and posting a reward through the CrimeStoppers program.

    Prosecutors in the Niagara County District Attorney’s office re-opened the investigation in late 2017 and took another look at the evidence. That re-opening included a retesting of the DNA evidence using more sophisticated technologies that weren’t available in 1993.

    Sources have said that new forensic evidence is what allowed them to finally charge Belstadt. Wojtaszek has declined to comment on the new forensic evidence.

    A Niagara County grand jury has indicted Belstadt on a charge of second-degree murder. Belstadt has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is free on $250,000 bail.
     

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