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Valcarcel Sentenced

October 30, 2014

by Alexander Horton and Vanessa Langdon

The homeless man convicted of murder during a robbery on Western Avenue last year was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison before Albany County State Supreme Court before Judge Rodger D. McDonough.

Oscar Valcarcel, 41, was convicted and found guilty of murder last month in the death of Caleb Capen.

Oscar Valcarcel /Albany County Distric Attorny

Oscar Valcarcel
/Albany County Distric Attorny

Capen was found lying face down in a pool of his own blood in his bedroom, according to Ptl. Steve Smith, a spokesman for the Albany Police Department. Hours after police began investigating the scene they arrested Valcarcel and charged him with burglary and petty larceny.

This is not the first case that the Albany Police Department has responded to at the apartment building at 326 Western Ave. near Partridge Street. The police have responded to three calls at this multi-unit apartment building since September of this year, according to police records obtained through the state’s Freedom of Information Law. The records show that two weeks ago, on Oct. 20,  police were called to the site in response to an attempted suicide. The report states that a resident had “been stabbing himself in the chest” as well as cutting himself and had removed his pacemaker. The report said that resident suffers from schizophrenia and personality disorder. The report also stated that  a supportive living manager had been assigned to work with that resident.

Two weeks before that event,  police reported to the property after a resident’s mental health counselor alerted the police that a resident was “barricading himself into his apartment because people were coming to get him.” The 59-year-old resident was arrested for his own safety because of a history of mental illness and the fact that he had stabbed himself in the past. The same resident was also arrested on September 15 of this year. The reporting officer wrote that the resident was “an emotional [sic] disturbed person who locked himself in his apartment and is stabbing himself.” The report further stated that the resident said he wanted to kill himself and cut his chest with a steak knife.

“They all have to do with mental illness,” Albany PD’s  Smith told The Pine Hills blog. -30-

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