Judge sets bail for teens
Teens plead not guilty to charges
By Nathan Mayberg
GOSHEN — Two local teenagers accused in the horrific arson and murder of an 81-year-old Goshen woman pleaded not guilty in Orange County Court on Wednesday and will continue to be held in jail on the charges.
A judge ordered 17-year-old Jennifer Molyneaux held without bail and set bail at $1 million or $2 million bond for 19-year-old Devin Giordano in the slaying of Helen Mills.
Molyneaux, of Walkill, was remanded back to Renssalaer County Jail by Orange County Judge Nicholas DeRosa on Thursday, while Giordano, of Goshen, was ordered held at Orange County Jail.
Both are charged with murder and arson, although Molyneaux has been given the additional charge of intentional murder.
Molyneaux is being represented by New York City attorney Edward Hayes. Hayes said his client has a drug problem and overdosed twice in the days before the incident. She also tried to commit suicide last year, he said. Hayes said that Giordano and Molyneaux were "drug abusers together."
"She comes from a lovely, lovely family," said Hayes. "She is 17 years old. The whole thing happened because of drugs and the pressure of her boyfriend, Giordano. It's a tragedy."
Hayes said Giordano "is responsible" for the incident. He said Giordano went to Mills' home based on information he had about money being inside the house. Giordano "coerced" Molyneaux into committing the alleged crimes, Hayes said. He doesn't believe the two were involved in selling drugs.
Hayes said he is awaiting tests on blood that prosecutors allege was on Molyneaux's person.
"She takes responsibility for what she did," Hayes said.
However, Hayes said Giordano is more responsible for the crimes.
"He is a big, muscular man," he said. "She is tiny. She's four foot eleven."
Hayes said he didn't know why his client was being given the additional intentional murder charge.
A spokesman for the District Attorney's Office declined to comment.
Mills was believed to have been strangled, and an autopsy showed that she suffered blunt force trauma wounds to her head and throat, according to statements made by Hoovler after the incident. Her badly burned body was discovered by firefighters in her bedroom.
Giordano is being represented by the law firm of Ostrer & Associates. A message left with the firm on Wednesday was not returned as of press time.
The two are due back in court on Sept. 16 for a conference date with their attorneys and the District Attorney's Office.
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