By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO March 05, 2002 The trial of Ronald Caruso should begin within a few weeks.
Caruso, 18, a Callicoon resident, is going on trial for charges stemming from the August 28 murder of his step-uncle, Gary Kays. Jury selection is scheduled to begin March 14.
Caruso, who was absent without leave from the Army at the time, was staying at Kays trailer in Callicoon. When Kays returned home on the 18th, Caruso allegedly shot and killed him with a .308-caliber rifle stolen from a hunting camp in the Beechwoods section of Hortonville.
Caruso fled the area and a large manhunt took place to find him. Caruso, who had stolen his step-grandfathers car to escape, fled north.
On Aug. 30, Caruso stopped at a rest area off Interstate 87 near Plattsburgh. There, Caruso allegedly killed Luke LeBorgne of Quebec and stole his car. Shortly thereafter, Caruso was apprehended on his way to his familys residence in Franklin, a hamlet in northern Delaware County.
Caruso was brought back to Sullivan County and was indicted and charged with 14 felonies. Caruso is charged with two counts of first-degree murder; three counts of second-degree murder; two counts of first-degree burglary; one count of first-degree criminal trespass; one count of first-degree criminal use of a firearm; one count of second-degree burglary; one count of third-degree burglary; and three counts of fourth degree grand larceny.
Caruso will also face murder charges in Essex County stemming from the LeBorgne homicide.
Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen Lungen and Caruso attorney, Stephan Schick, are arguing over the admissibility of Kays 911 call.
Sullivan County Court Judge Frank LaBuda has asked both sides to present written arguments on the issue. LaBuda is expected to make a ruling sometime this week.
Lawyers on both sides are finishing pre-trial motions and getting set for jury selection.