A corrections officer puts handcuffs on Brian Tromans after a judge upped his bail by $25,000 (Photo by Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
ALBANY – A Colonie man now facing two additional felonies for allegedly hitting and killing another man on Jan. 8 and then taking off saw a judge increase his bail by $25,000.
Brian Tromans was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs after being free for months on $50,000 bail. He and his attorney, Lee Kindlon, had about an hour on Wednesday, June 21, to gather the additional money or Tromans would have to spend at least the night in jail.
Assistant District Attorney David Szalda, of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, argued that since bail was initially set, new evidence had come to light and based on those the grand jury indicted Tromans on two additional felonies. They are criminally negligent homicide and tampering with physical evidence in addition to the previous charge of leaving the scene of a of an incident without reporting.
The two new felonies, Szalda said, would run consecutive rather than concurrent and instead of looking at two and a third to seven, Tromans was now facing five to 15 and the steeper penalty is more incentive to run. Tromans pleaded not guilty to all three felonies.
The new evidence, Szalda told Judge Rodger McDonough, includes DNA on the hood and windshield of Tromans car that matches the victim, Rudolph Seabron, a master sergeant from Rome in the National Guard in the area for training, and the accident reconstruction report from Colonie police.
“He knew, or should have known, that he hit someone,” Szalda said in court.
Kindlon, who has maintained the incident was a horrendous accident but not criminal, said the “facts of the case are not different” while arguing for the same bail. He said Tromans’ parents mortgaged their home to get the initial bail and his client is unemployed. He did, though, say he would get in touch with the family to get the additional $25,000.
Tromans, who is now living with his parents in Melrose, said he is unemployed and is looking for work but because of the high profile nature of his crime “several offers were rescinded.”
Prosecutors allege Tromans left a bar on Watervliet Shaker Road at around 4:40 a.m. and on the way home hit and killed Seabron, who was walking home from the same bar, near the Exit 5 overpass. More than an hour later, Colonie police say they received a call from someone saying they may have hit someone.
It’s unclear who that call came from but one theory is it came from the driver of a second car who hit Seabron while he was lying in the road.
Tromans hid his car, and attempted to get parts to fix the front end, which is why he was charged with tampering with evidence.
Albany County Legislator Merton Simpson, Seabron’s cousin, said outside court Seabron was “one of the nicest guys you could ever meet,” before breaking down into sobs.
“It was a crazy thing that happened. He was here doing his duty and
serving his country and for a soldier to go out like that is ridiculous,” he said. “Things happen, and there are accidents, but if he got help in time he might have made it. He was in excellent, excellent physical shape and the tragedy is nobody made any attempt to assist him.
“I understand shock and fear response, but we have to take responsibility for what we do to our fellow man.”