In the fall of 2008 Ulster County District Attorney D. Carnright and the New York State Police invested into the chilling story of betrayal and murder as told by Alexander Barsky earlier that spring. On September 14, 2010 this investment paid dividends when at 8:45 p.m., a jury found Daniel Malak guilty of murdering Joseph Martin. All information, documents, and statements are part of the public record, personal information (ie addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers) have been omitted to protect the privacy of the those involved.
Months before his trial, Daniel tried taking steps to assist in the preparation of his defense by writing his court-appointed attorney, Paul Gruner, and asking what he could do to help. On May 5, 2010, Daniel received a response which reads, "I do not believe there is anything you can do to assist at this time. Unless the investigation develops helpful information, there is very little to be done leading up to the trial." Daniel never met with an investigator to locate witnesses and to secure evidence for his defense. Before his trial, Daniel was met with the prejudices of officials at local prisons as he was placed in "the box" where he was denied visits from his own defense attorney. He was told that he would be brought to meet with an investigator and prepare for trial at least a month prior to his trial date. Instead, he met with council two days before pre-trial hearings.
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives us the following rights:
- The right to a fair trial
- To confront our accuser
- To present a defense; and
- The right to effective legal council
TRIAL: The Prosecution
J. Tobin, the Chief Assistant District Attorney prepped a jury for what would be termed "inconsistencies", but neither ADA Tobin nor the NY State Police volunteered witnesses with memories more substantial than choreographed rips in the fabric of reality. One witness, Chris Brown, openly stated his memory of events 14 years ago was far better now than it was at the time. He went on to say that he attended school with Daniel Malak the day after he allegedly murdered Joseph Martin. In truth, C. Brown had never gone to school with Daniel Malak, he graduated the previous year.
Another witness worth mentioning is Chris Cain, the prosecutions corroborating witness. Mr. Cain was in inmate with Daniel at the Ulster County jail. According to him, Daniel told him about Joseph Martin though the information he provided in his testimony could have been found in any newspaper. Without Chris Cain, Daniel never would have been indicted so his sudden appearance and decision to testify is curious, to say the least.
In another instance, seasoned NY State Trooper L. Seals would tell a Grand Jury about meeting with W. Martin (Joseph Martin's brother), however, Trooper Seals statements don't align with what was reported to his agency, nor to they align with the accounts of C. Lightstone or W. Martin. What complicates Seals' statements even further is the trial testimony of W. Martin, in which he states he met with Daniel on the bus. Daniel and W. Martin did not ride the same bus. Police reports filed by Detective D. Bien from 1996 state that Trooper Seals learned Daniel Malak, Alexander Barsky, William Martin and Joseph Martin were all to meet at the quarry the previous night. However, in 2009, Trooper Seals would tell the grand jury that he ascertained they were supposed to hang out with friends at the cabin (per A. Barsky's 2008 story).
It is never made clear why this confusion wasn't cleared up at trial.
CSI Lakowsky proclaimed that evidence was found at the cabin, again, mentioned in A. Barsky's tale of the accounts. However, NYSP had searched the cabin and surrounding areas with members of the Martin family in 2000 and concluded there was nothing of evidentiary value. Where did this evidence come from?
A. Barsky admits to taking a car service to retrieve the remains. Interestingly, the area is the same area previously searched several times. It is almost, as if, someone had previously moved the remains there, then came back to get them.
During the trial, Daniel's lawyer, Paul Gruner routinely took steps to placate Daniel's concerns about testimony ultimately ending his trail in a sidebar with just himself, the DA and the presiding judge in which Mr. Gruner stated he has no evidence to offer. That was it, three days, no opportunity for Daniel to testify, not a single defense witness or any evidence that could have been easily obtained to demonstrate the lack of credibility of the prosecution's witnesses.
Daniel wanted to testify at his trial. He mentioned to his lawyer several times over the course of his trial that witnesses the prosecution put on had perjured themselves. None of which was addressed when the defense was called to present their case.