Trial to begin this week for man accused of shooting Trooper in September 2005

The trial of a man accused of shooting a New York State Trooper last September after fleeing from a traffic stop is expected to begin on Wednesday in Clinton County Court. The most serious charge against Vladimir Kulakov is first-degree attempted murder. Kulakov allegedly shot Trooper Sean Finn on Sept. 9, 2005 as Troopers searched in the woods for him after fleeing from a traffic stop. Thankfully, Trooper Finn has recovered from his injuries and returned to work.

Below is an article from the Press Republican newspaper of Plattsburgh about the upcoming trial.

By: Joe LoTemplio
Staff Writer

October 10, 2006

PLATTSBURGH — A judge has denied attempts to suppress evidence against alleged cop-shooter Vladimir Kulakov.

Kulakov, 48, is charged with shooting State Police Trooper Sean Finn on Sept. 9, 2005.

Finn and Trooper Ryan Johnston had pulled Kulakov over that day for allegedly driving a stolen vehicle on Tom Miller Road.

Kulakov ran from the car into the woods, and the troopers chased him.

Kulakov allegedly shot Finn as the trooper closed in on him in the woods. Finn suffered wounds in the head, hand and arm.

After a massive manhunt, Kulakov was captured the next day in Pottersville about an hour south of Plattsburgh.

He is charged with first-degree attempted murder, among other charges.

His trial is expected to begin Wednesday with jury selection in Clinton County Court.

Kulakov’s attorney, Mark J. McCormick, attempted to have excluded from the trial statements that Kulakov made after his arrest in Pottersville and a gun that was allegedly found at his feet.

But County Court Judge Kevin K. Ryan has denied the suppression request, ruling that the police acted properly in obtaining the statement and evidence.

"Initially, the court finds the prosecution’s witnesses’ testimony to be credible in all respects, and where the defendant’s testimony and their testimony diverge, the court credits the prosecution’s witnesses’ version of events," Ryan’s ruling said, in part.

"The defendant’s motion to suppress physical evidence seized from him, as well as his motion to suppress statements made by him to the New York State Police, are denied in their entirety."

The case is being prosecuted by Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne because Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie once represented Kulakov as a defense attorney.