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Woodhaven shooter trial starts

After four years of psychiatric care, Matthew Colletta, the Woodhaven man charged in the 2006 shooting spree that left one man dead and six others injured, is standing trial, with his victim’s family taking the stand.
More than a month after his August 2006 reign of terror, a grand jury returned a 57-count indictment against Colletta, who targeted red cars and people at random.
Among the charges brought against him were two counts of murder in the second degree, 14 counts of attempted murder in the second degree, 17 counts of assault, six counts of criminal possession of a weapon, one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and nine counts of criminal mischief.
“The defendant is accused of carving a bloody swath across Queens County during a violent seven-hour shooting rampage in which he drove around randomly firing at individuals standing on the sidewalk or traveling in vehicles,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Colletta, an unemployed bricklayer and diagnosed manic depressive/bipolar, was allegedly high on cocaine and angel dust when he shot his first victim, Andrew Leonik, outside his home on 56th Drive in Maspeth.
The sole fatality in the seven-hour rampage was Todd Upton, 51, who was riding in the front passenger seat of a red Toyota minivan on the Cross Island Parkway near Bell Boulevard. Upton and his wife Mary, who was driving the minivan, and their daughter, Erin, 19 at the time, had just come from dropping off another daughter, then 21-year-old Angela, at Marist College.

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