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June 22, 2011 - 11:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, alexander.

Level 3 sex offender Ronald A. Smith was convicted Tuesday afternoon in Genesee County Court of one count of failure to register a change of address.

After deliberating less than two hours, the jury of seven women and five men returned a guilty verdict, which needed to be unanimous, for a violation of the Sex Offender Registration Act. Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 8.

The Lewiston, Maine, native rejected two plea offers by the District Attorney before taking the case to trial. The first offer was for one and a half to two years in prison, the minimum allowed under statute, and the second offer was for one to three years.

Smith was released Oct. 28, 2010 after serving time for first-degree criminal sexual act with a child under 11. Subsequently, he reportedly lived on Thorpe and East Main streets in the City of Batavia, as well as in Alexander and Oakfield. He was found to not be legally residing at any of these locations.

In court on Tuesday, Smith wore khaki-colored pants, and a snug-fitting white, long-sleeved shirt which revealed a well-muscled torso. His head was nearly shaved. He's about 5'4" tall.

In his brief opening statement, William Harper, an attorney with the Public Defender's Office, reminded the jury of its duty to stick to the issue at hand and not be prejudiced in weighing the evidence because his client is a sex offender.

"The presumption of innocence is the cornerstone of our justice system," Harper said. "We know you won't pre-judge."

Harper and Public Defender Gary Horton tried to create reasonable doubt in the jurors' minds by indications that Smith was confused about his obligations and was not properly instructed about them. The credibility of two witnesses who live on Thorpe Street was also called into question.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told jurors the case would not last long because it is not complicated. Simply put, Smith knew he had to register his address, knew how and when to do so, but did not.

A videotaped interview conducted on Jan. 13 was played in the courtroom. It shows Smith, clad in a black T-shirt and slumped in a chair, telling an officer he lived in a trailer park in Oakfield. The officer says he talked with Smith's aunt and others in Oakfield and they said Smith didn't live there and never had.

The defendent maintained that he lived in Oakfield with his fiancee until his sister was removed from his mother's house and put into foster care -- because he is not allowed by authorities to be in contact with his sister. Once that occurred, he moved in with his mother. He didn't register there because his mother "would get evicted."

But a child-protective services worker testified that he visited Smith's mother's house beforehand and found the defendant "crouched in a fetal position by the bed with his eyes covered." He said he saw him again the following day turning into the driveway of the apartment complex and contacted police.

The length of time Smith lived on Thorpe Street was said to be four days or two to three weeks, depending on who was talking. He said he notified authorities he lived there, but not the landlord. When the landlord found out he was there, it was made clear he was not welcome.

At some point, too, he purportedly lived in Alexander.

"The place you come home to is where you live...not because you get mail there," Smith is told in the videotape.

Smith, who will turn 20 in January, replied that "before you told me, I really didn't know."

And yet Smith acknowleged his parole officer told him what he needed to do as a free citizen: Notify the police within 10 days of a change of address, show police verification of address every 90 days, go for treatment if required to do so, and let the state know where he was.

Desiree Sumeriski is the mother of Smith's baby daughter and lives in an apartment on Thorpe Street. She testified that Smith stayed there until Oct. 31 after his release and left to move in with his mother.

She was romantically involved with another man at the time and when asked if this created a problem with Smith being around, she said no, that she only saw the man when Smith wasn't there.

Horton asked if she had been convicted of filing a false report of child abuse against a person with CPS and she admitted she had. Asked if she had also pled guilty to harassment charges on more than one occasion, she said yes.

Her neighbor across the street, Jennifer Schaffer, also testified that she knew Smith was staying there and that he left on Oct. 31. Her friendship with Sumeriski was pointed out by the defense, an inference that this might affect her testimony.

The cross examination of the two women was apparently an attempt to discredit their testimony that Smith lived there only a few days because Smith had stated he was there for two or three weeks. But in his videotaped interview, he says he was only on Thorpe for a few days.

Regardless, Sumeriski's landlord was not notified because Smith claims he didn't know he had to.

On cross examination, Horton tells Batavia Police Detective Kevin Czora that Smith mentioned several times he didn't know he had to notify the landlord.

"Did you ask him what he thought was required to notify the landlord?" Horton asked.

"No," the detective replied.

An administrative aide with the Sex Offender Registry in Albany testified that address information filed for sex offenders "all ends up in Albany." There are only three notifications on file for Smith.

The first move documented is from West Main Street (jail), Batavia, to Alexander. The second is from Alexander to Thorpe Street. The last is from Thorpe to South Main Street, Oakfield. There is nothing on file about residency at his mom's apartment in Batavia.

Outside the presence of the jury, Horton moved to vacate the case for lack of evidence and his motion was denied.

In closing arguments, Horton told jurors the key question is "When did Ron Smith register?" He told them to forget about the details, the forms -- which weren't explained to the defendent -- and not to use Smith's prior convictions to decide the case.

"Cases don't get much simpler that this," Friedman told the jury. "They don't get less complicated than this."

Friedman said Smith gave different addresses and different times he stayed at them. He admits that he never lived in Alexander or Oakfield, Friedman said. He also claims he thought he could just list an address without regard to where he  actually stayed, which is inconsistent with the legal obligation he acknowleged, Friedman said.

After asking to view the videotape a second time and having the stipulations of the charge reread for them, the jury reached a verdict just before 3:30 p.m. Smith will remain in custody.

A court date for other charges pending against Smith will be set at 11 a.m. on July 7.

He also faces up to five years in prison -- to be served concurrently with the failure to register conviction -- if he's found guilty of three counts of sexual acts with a child under 11.

He was arrested less than four months after being released in October, 2010 on suspicion of molesting a child in the City of Batavia.

June 22, 2011 - 4:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Police are in the area of Tops Market looking for a pair of shoplifting suspects.

The first is a black male who is believed to have run into Tops. The second is a white female wearing purple shorts who ran out of Tops with a shopping bag filled, allegedly, with merchandise that wasn't paid for. The first suspect allegedly stole a DVD player and/or Playstation from Kmart

We'll update with better descriptions if they are re-transmitted.

June 21, 2011 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Raymond Gandolfo is indicted on three counts of forgery, 2nd, three counts of identify theft, 1st, three counts of criminal possession of stolen property and one count of grand larceny, 4th. Gandolfo is accused of using and attempting to use the credit cards of another person on Sept. 25 at Walmart, The Home Depot and Lowe's. Gandolfo allegedly ran up charges in excess of $1,000.

Patrick J. Ettleman is indicted on a count of robbery, 2nd. Ettleman is accused of forcibly stealing the wallet of another person while on Main Street in Batavia on May 6.

Eric P. Williams is indicted on four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Williams is accused of being at 29 Central Ave., Batavia on March 12 and possessing cocaine with the intent to sell it along with packaging material to facilitate the sale of cocaine.

June 21, 2011 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien.

Michele Ann Case, 46, of North Bergen Road, Bergen, is charged with petit larceny and criminal mischief, 4th. Case is accused of spray painting a mailbox that did not belong to her. Case allegedly took a mailbox and painted over the house numbers on it and then painted her own house numbers on it.

Jesse Jack Carney, 19, Highland Drive, Marcelius, is charged with petit larceny and possession/consumption of alcohol by a person under 21. Carney is accused of stealing Dippin Dots ice cream while at Darien Lake Theme Park. During the investigation by Deputy Patrick Reeves, Carney was allegedly found in possession of alcohol.

Elizabeth Rose Kaylie Searle, 18, of Apulia Road, La Fayette, is charged with petit larceny and possession/consumption of alcohol by a person under 21. Searle is accused of stealing Dippin Dots ice cream while at Darien Lake Theme Park. During the investigation by Deputy Patrick Reeves, Searle was allegedly found in possession of alcohol.

Andrea Murphy Harrington, 19, of Otisco Valley Road, Preble, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by a person under 21. Harrington was reportedly at Darien Lake Theme Park and allegedly consuming alcohol.

Candice Ashley Clemens, 19, of Route 80, La Fayette, is charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by a person under 21. Clemens was reportedly at Darien Lake Theme Park and allegedly consuming alcohol.

Tyler Pasquale Schroeder, 19, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, was turned over to the Sheriff's Office by Attica Police on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. Schroeder was jailed on $50,000 bail.

Lewis Martin Fuller, 51, of Clinton Street Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Fuller reportedly voluntarily turned over suspected smoking paraphernalia during an investigation into a domestic incident on June 14. The paraphernalia allegedly contained a quantity of marijuana.

June 20, 2011 - 11:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu.

Anthony Devon Alexander, 37, Wast Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Alexander is accused of slapping a 13-year-old boy on the face leaving welts and bruising. The alleged incident occurred at noon, Sunday (Father's Day).

Stephanie Rae LaVoice, 26, of Brown Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving left of the pavement markings in a no-passing zone and driving left at railroad crossing. LaVoice was stopped at 1:17 a.m., Saturday, on Brown Road, Batavia, by Deputy Jason Saile.

Ryan M. Palmer, 29, of 10 Birchwood Drive, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Palmer is accused of shoving a female acquaintance.

Paul B. Heale, 58, of 29 Linwood Ave., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest. Heale was arrested following an alleged domestic incident at 6 p.m., Saturday.

Shawn William Shanahan, 40, of Bonnie Brae Drive, Darien, is charged with DWI, aggravated driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to keep right, possession/consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Shanahan was stopped at 2:16 a.m., Sunday, on Route 20, Darien, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Rene Corez-Marrero, 28, of East Utica Street, Buffalo, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and dark window tint. Corez-Marrero was stopped at 7:54 p.m., Saturday, on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Corez-Marrero is also charged with coercion, 2nd, and harassment, 2nd. Corez-Marrero was reportedly involved at an incident at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, at Darien Lake Theme Park where Corez-Marrero allegedly did not allow a woman to contact police and took her personal property.

Dean Wilkins, 47, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd. Wilkins is accused of depositing a forged check into an account at the Le Roy Federal Credit Union. Wilkins was jailed without bail.

Heidi L. Thomas, 27, and Denise R. Queen, no age given, both of 20 1/2 Dellinger Ave., Batavia, are charged with attempted petit larceny. Thomas and Queen allegedly tried to steal merchandise from Dollar General on June 17.

Hannah E. Dibble, 18, and a 16-year-old, both of Akron Road, Corfu, and a 17-year-old of Longs Lane, Corfu, are all charged with petit larceny. The trio is accused of shoplifting at 10:08 p.m., June 14, from Walmart.

June 19, 2011 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

A 23-year-old Oakfield man is accused of choking his girlfriend early Saturday morning to the point where she blacked out.

Arrested on one count of strangulation in the second degree is Keven Michael Waleski, of 63 S. Pearl St., Oakfield.

The incident allegedly occurred at 3:56 a.m., Saturday.

As a result of the alleged strangulation, the woman reportedly became dizzy and lost consciousness. 

Waleski was jailed on $10,000 bail.

June 18, 2011 - 8:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A GCC nursing graduate who once worked at the Batavia Nursing Home and had a couple of brushes with the law while in Batavia is a "person of interest" in the death of a young woman in Auburn, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports.

The murder victim, of Katie Socci, 29 of Auburn, had a child with Donald F. McNamara. She was reported missing earlier this week and a day later her body was found in a shallow grave.

McNamara's ties to the case have police looking at him as a possible suspect.

The Post-Standard reports that McNamara was accused in 2006 of reckless endangerment, a charge he later entered a guilty plea on, for firing a military-style rifle within Batavia city limits.

In February 2007, his license was suspended for a time after admitting to withdrawing narcotics for personal use.

In 2008, while employed at the Batavia Nursing Home, he was accused of criminal mischief. He was accused of altering the labels on medications.

For the full Post-Standard story, click here.

June 18, 2011 - 12:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu.

A bar fight, perhaps involving several people, has been reported at Dadio's on Main Street in Corfu.

An ambulance is being dispatched to 44 Allegany Road, Corfu, for the victim of an assault. It may be related. A man is down, conscious and alert with facial and head injuries.

Multiple law enforcement units are responding.

Mercy EMS dispatched to Allegany Road.

June 17, 2011 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, corfu.

Justin Zane Barker, 22, of North Lyon, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 3rd. Barker is accused of burglarizing the Beaver Brothers Restaurant at Darien Lake Theme Park sometime during the morning hours of Sept. 6, 2009. (Barker was also recently part of a trio that allegedly refused to leave a local hotel, leading to a multi-agency manhunt for Derick Barker.)

Lena M. Evans, 23, of 4037 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, is charged with three counts of petit larceny. Evans is accused of shoplifting from Target on April 11, from Kmart on April 19, and from Bed, Bath & Beyond on an unspecified date. The petit larcenies were investigated by deputies Parker, Richardson and VanValkenburg.

June 15, 2011 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, corfu.

Danny D. Williams, 22, of 21 Wood St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, coercion, 2nd, criminal mischief, 4th, criminal trespass, 2nd, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Williams is accused of being at a residence on Thorpe Street at 10:58 p.m., Monday, and being loud and disruptive. When his female acquaintance asked him to leave, according to police, Williams allegedly refused. During the incident, Williams allegedly damaged a glass vase and a mobile phone. Williams allegedly grabbed the phone from the woman's hand and threw it against a wall when she threatened to call police. Three young children were in the residence at the time. According to police, a "no offensive conduct" order was in place at the time of the alleged incident. Williams was taken into custody Tuesday and jailed on $750 bail.

June 14, 2011 - 7:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, fire, Le Roy.

A resident of 3 Orchard Drive, Le Roy, who suffered serious burns in a house fire early Monday morning, has reportedly told Le Roy Police that he started the fire.

Charges are pending against Paul F. Atkinson, 42, according to a statement from Le Roy Police.

Atkinson remains hospitalized at Strong Memorial Hospital where he is being treated for first-, second- and third-degree burns.

According to Le Roy Police, Atkinson said that he started the fire as a result of a disagreement he had with his father Sunday.

The release says that Atkinson made a full statement taking responsibility for the fire.

Several hours before the fire, Atkinson appears to have left a status update on his Facebook page that reads, "everyone can go to hell, tired of this life."

The fire was reported at 3:26 a.m. after the family dog alerted Atkinson's sister to the fire. Her husband, Richard Nelson climbed from a second-floor window to escape the flames and reportedly suffered an ankle injury in the fall. His wife was helped down an outside stairway by a Le Roy Police Officer.

The father, Thomas Atkinson, who owns the house, was not at home when the fire started. He was delivering newspapers.

June 14, 2011 - 6:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

At least two cars and a shed were broken into overnight on Drake Street, Oakfield.

The steering column of one vehicle was damaged.

The caller reports that it appears somebody tried to hot-wire the car.

The would-be thief reportedly left behind a mobile phone, which the victim has turned over to law enforcement.

UPDATE 7:46 a.m.: There are reportedly several other vehicles on Drake that were broken into overnight.

June 13, 2011 - 7:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Suzanne Corona.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m., Suzanne Corona, who has been involved in previous criminal cases that made news, walked into the Target store on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Dressed in a gray jacket and blue jeans, she carried a bag over to customer service and pulled out two clothing items for exchange. After showing a receipt for the purchase, she received a handful of cash and put it in her purse.

Corona then walked past a local reporter, a Sheriff's Deputy and his K-9 and the store's asset protection manager, seemingly avoiding eye contact as she proceeded to the jewelry counter.

The asset protection manager, alerted her security staff. She said, "We have her on camera."

The reporter left the store, thinking, "what could possibly happen with a deputy, a K-9, and an asset protection manager right here?"

About five minutes later, Corona reportedly left the store and began to run into the parking lot, calling out, according to witness Brandon Maldonado, "Bruce, Bruce, I'm over here."

Two other people reported seeing Corona duck in between cars and Deputy Brian Thompson with K-9 "Pharoah" exited the store in pursuit of Corona. Thompson later said he glanced over at Maldonado, whose direction of gaze told him where Corona appeared to be hiding.

Thompson said that when he apprehended Corona, he found the allegedly stolen merchandise, perfume, on her.

Corona was returned to the store where she was arrested on a petit larceny charge.

A short time later, Thompson was called back outside to check on a car with Florida license plates. Inside the car, additional merchandise was found that might have come from other local stores and Thompson said there will be an investigation into whether those items were also stolen.

The car reportedly belongs to Corona's brother.

The man who was with the car was released. It's not believed that he was involved in, or had any knowledge of, any alleged thefts.

Corona was then transported to Genesee County Jail for processing.

In June 2009, Corona was arrested in Farrall Park and accused of public lewdness and adultery. The adultery charge made the case somewhat of an international sensation for a short time. Later, Corona was accused of trashing the buffet at South Beach and of shoplifting from a local floral shop.

The adultery charge was dropped as part of a plea arrangement and in November 2010 she was placed on one-year probation. In March, in relation to the shoplifting case, she was referred to the Mental Health Court. 

(initial report)

For previous coverage of Corona, click here.

UPDATE 10:07 p.m.: The Sheriff's Office has issued its press release on Suzanne Marie Corona's arrest. Corona allegedly tried to exit the store and when she did, the anti-theft alarm sounded. She then allegedly attempted to flee. She allegedly attempted to steal two pair of sunglasses, a hair band and a necklace, not perfume as we originally reported.

Photo of Corona outside target this afternoon submitted by a reader. Copyright 2011 by the reader. All rights reserved.

June 13, 2011 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Suzanne Corona.

Batavia resident Suzanne Corona, 43, is in the security office at Target, being held on suspicion of shoplifting.

Within the past half hour or so, Corona is alleged to have ran from the store, allegedly carrying merchandise some perfume, and yelling "Bruce, Bruce, I'm over here!" before ducking down and supposedly trying to hide among the parked vehicles, according to witness Brandon Maldonado.

After causing a commotion and exiting the store, she was apprehended by Sheriff's Deputy Brian Thompson, who was in the store at the time doing a K-9 demonstration with "Pharoah."

Dispatch was notified that "Ms. Corona" was being detained and an officer sent to take a statement.

Corona's past brushes with local law enforcement include allegations of shopping from a local florist, trashing a lunch buffet and engaging in a sexual encounter at a public park.

(The name of the perfume has not been disclosed.)

UPDATE 10:09 p.m.: It was not perfume as we were originally told, but Corona allegedly attempted to steal two pair of sunglasses, a hair band and a necklace.

June 13, 2011 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, Darien, Le Roy, Stafford, corfu.

Daniel William Tuerk, 25, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Tuerk was arrested after reportedly trying to proceed through an accident scene on East Main Street, Corfu, at 12:58 a.m., Saturday.

Earl Bryan Benson, 22, of Chestnut Street, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI and refusal to submit to breath test. Benson was reportedly found asleep in a vehicle at 2 a.m., Sunday, parked at 64 S. Main St., Elba. Sgt. Brian Frieday made the arrest after an investigation revealed that Benson allegedly drove drunk to that location. Benson was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Ryan N. Pyatt, 18, of 36 Dellinger Ave., Batavia and Jordon E. Terkel, 21, of 76 E. Main St., Corfu, are charged with unlawful dealing with a child, 1st, and endangering the welfare of a child. Pyatt and Terkel are accused of supplying alcohol to two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old on May 28.

Jason Warren Spencer, 25 of Church Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and harassment, 2nd. Spencer is accused of being involved in an unspecified incident alleged to have occurred early Saturday morning.

Eugeno Nunez-Gomez, 22, of Hundredmark Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, drving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right, unregistered motor vehicle, improper/switched plates. Nunez-Gomez was stopped at 1:12 a.m., Sunday, in the area of 5800 Transit Road, Elba, by Deputy Frank Bordonaro.

James Daniel Kavanagh, 21, of North Avenue, Le Roy, is charged with assault, 3rd. Kavanagh is accused of being involved in a fight at an address on Main Road, Stafford, in which he injured another person.  

Jason Paul Schaefer, 19, of Martin Road, Clarence Center, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Schaefer is accused at being at the Phish concert June 8 while another person he is barred from being near was also at the concert. Schaefer then allegedly got into a verbal altercation, allegedly violating the order of protection.

Matthew F. Vanbuskirk, 22, of 108 Myrtle St., Le Roy, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and having non-transparent side windows. Vanbuskirk was stopped Saturday by a Le Roy Police patrol.

Lena Marie Evans, 23, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Evans was allegedly found in possession of narcotics during a check the welfare complaint at 8:32 p.m., Friday.

Ryan Christopher Riggi, 16, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Riggi allegedly violated an order of protection after reportedly pushing a caseworker on a home visit. Riggi was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kevin James Huston, 27, of Brooklyn Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Huston is accused of claiming rewards and discounts from Kmart he was not entitled to obtain.

Evan Charles Burstein, 24, of Sunset Hills Road, Reston, Va., is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Burstein was reportedly found by Darien Lake security wandering around the theme park in an intoxicated condition. Upon investigation by Deputy Chad Minuto, he was allegedly found in possession of Clonazepam tablets outside their original container and a quantity of marijuana. Burstein was jailed on $250 bail.

John Mitchell Irish, 29, of Dartmouth Street, Rochester, is charged with felony DWI. Irish was allegedly involved in a car vs. pedestrian accident on Sumner Road, Darien, at 12:26 a.m., June 9. Irish was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Jessica R. Johns, 28, of 120 Jackson St., Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, 3rd. Johns is accused of taking the car of an acquaintance without permission on June 9. Johns was located on June 10 and the car was returned reportedly undamaged.

Jason Schafer, 23, of Geneseo, is accused of evading cigarette taxes. Schafer was allegedly found in possession of 2,000 untaxed cigarettes.

June 11, 2011 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

A Mt. Morris man with a prior criminal record was allegedly observed selling heroin in a Village of Le Roy parking lot, leading to his arrest on multiple drug dealing and possession charges.

Shaun M. Theriault, 30, of Parker Road, is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

Theriault may also be wanted in Florida, but that hasn't been confirmed. He has prior convictions in New York for grand larceny, 4th, and robbery, 1st.

The Sheriff's Office reports that members of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Le Roy Police Department observed Theriault allegedly conducting a drug transaction in a municipal parking lot in the village.

Upon approaching Theriault's car, officers allegedly found a quantity of suspected heroin, packaging baggies, a digital scale and $506 in U.S. currency. 

Theriault was arraigned in Town of Le Roy court for alleged attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and criminal using drug paraphernalia, 2nd.

A web site out of Florida lists a Shaun M. Theriault with a birthdate of April 20, 1981 as wanted on a fugitive extradition warrant. Theriault is listed on the site as a Nunda resident. The mug shot on the site shows a blond man, but some facial features are similar. The warrant is from 2004, so may no longer be current.

Theriault was held in the state prision in Wyoming County from 2004 until Jan. 14, 2011, when he was released on parole. The crime was robbery, 1st, committed in Livingston County. He was previously in state prison in 2000 to 2001.

June 10, 2011 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, Chris Charvella, Jay Grasso.

UPDATED 3:26 p.m., with clarification of a quote.

In the interest of justice, the aggravated harassment in the second-degree charges filed against political activist Chris Charvella should be dropped, Charvella's attorney argued in Town of Batavia Court this morning.

The hearing was prompted by the defense's motion to dismiss the case.

"If you allow this case to go forward, what is the public going to think?" Charvella's attorney, E. Robert Fussell, told Justice Mike Cleveland. "Are they going to trust a system where a politician is allowed to call the police and have a political opponent silenced?"

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini, representing the people, argued that the case against Charvella is neither political nor does it conflict with the First Amendment.

The case is entirely about Charvella's conduct, Cianfrini argued. The key question is whether that conduct violates the harassment, 2nd, statute against making phone calls with no legitimate purpose.

Charvella is accused of placing a phone call to Legislator Jay Grasso and leaving a message on his answering machine. The message said, "Thank you for reading my blog."

Cianfrini argued that the message had no legitimate purpose and taken within the context of comments made by Charvella on The Batavian and on his own blog, constitutes an attempt to threaten and intimidate Grasso.

"What Mr. Charvella did was serious," Cianfrini said. "It wasn't a light moment. He wasn't trying to be funny. It was serious and if you look at the whole body of conduct, it is serious."

In order for the case to be considered serious, Fussell argued, the conduct of Charvella would have to be seen by a reasonable person as intimidating. Just because the alleged victim, he argued, felt alarmed doesn't mean the conduct is in fact harassing.

"Mr. Grasso is either an exceptionally sensitive person who is easily frightened, or he is acting to shut out Mr. Charvella from the political process," Fussell said. 

A key fact disputed during the hearing was the timing of the phone message in relation to a post Charvella did with a picture of an Ewok with the caption, "Prepare your anus."

Cianfrini said the posting of the picture followed by the phone message was clear evidence that Charvella intended to intimidate Grasso.

Fussell countered that the Ewok picture was posted after the phone call, so Grasso could not have seen the picture before getting the phone message.  

To which Cianfrini replied that if that's the case, Charvella's conduct potentially constituted a threat.

Fussell quickly replied that Charvella hadn't been charged with such a crime.

"If those are the facts that come out at trial, the people reserve the right to file that charge," Cianfrini said. "He's on notice."

A few times during the oral arguments, Cianfrini made the point that Grasso wasn't acting in his capacity as a sitting legislator, so the First Amendment didn't apply to the case.

The events around the case were entirely personal, Cianfrini argued, and not about politics or anything Grasso did as a government official.

"That’s what the First Amendment deals with, the government not politics  the placement of a political sign or personal conflicts," Cianfrini said.*

And even if it is a political issue, Cianfrini said, the case isn't about the content of any postings or messages. It's about Charvella's conduct, which Cianfrini argued, was clearly intended to intimidate and harass Grasso, causing him to feel alarmed.

One key piece of evidence not available in the case, Fussell complained, is the phone message itself. The recording was not preserved.

Fussell said the recording would provide important context to the message -- what was Charvella's tone of voice? Was it threatening? Was it humorous? 

It's hard to believe, Fussell said, given Grasso's background in law enforcement, that he didn't know to preserve the evidence.

Cianfrini said Grasso's law enforcement training is irrelevant to the case and that the recording is not needed since Charvella doesn't dispute the fact that he left the message.

As the oral arguments before Justice Cleveland wore down, the tensions between the attorneys intensified.

A couple of times near the close, Fussell made the point that if the case goes forward, Charvella will incur significant legal expenses (Charvella has already spent $7,000 on the case) while Grasso is getting the services of Cianfrini for free.

"That's not accurate, you're honor," Cianfrini said. "I take exception to that remark, I represent the people of the State of New York and I can't stand here and let that go on the record."

*NOTE: Quote clarified after further discussion with Melissa Cianfrini. 

June 9, 2011 - 10:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien.

The mellow fans of Phish didn't cause many problems for the Sheriff's Office during the band's concert at Darien Lake on Wednesday.

Only one arrest was made and only one underage drinking citation issued.

"The fact that only Phish concertgoers were in the amusement park, hotel, camping and the concert yesterday, seemed to make for a pleasant day for all," said Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble.

He said EMS was kept busy with heat and alcohol- and drug-related issues.

Arrested were:

Brandon A. Eisenberg, 27, of  Village Gate Court, Williamsville, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 4th. Eisenberg is accused of possessing a large quantity of marijuana. Additional charges may be pending.

Adam M. McNamara, 19, of Dean Street, Schenectady, was cited for allegedly possessing alcohol under 21 years of age.

June 9, 2011 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A Georgia resident who is accused of running from law enforcement on June 2 appeared for the first time with his attorney in city court today.

Derick Barker, 25, remains in jail without bail and he's schedule to appear in city court again on July 5.

He maintained his option to have a pre-trial hearing or have his case submitted to a grand jury, according to attorney Thomas Burns.

Justin Barker, 22, of Oakfield, was also in court today. He was Derick Barker at the Days Inn before Derick Barker allegedly ran from a Batavia police officer, He waived his pre-trial hearing and his case will be sent to a grand jury.

Derick Barker is charged with one count of criminal trespass, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia.

Justin Barker was charged with one count of criminal trespass, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia.

The case started with Officer Dan Coffey responding to the Days Inn on a complaint of guests allegedly staying in a room they hadn't paid for. While Coffey did a wants and warrants check, Derick Barker allegedly ran from the scene.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene to search for Barker, who was reportedly found trying to hide in a farm field on the north side of the Thruway.

A third person allegedly involved in the situation, Benjamin Santiago, appeared in court earlier in the week but we don't have information on his case.

Santiago was charged with one count of criminal trespass, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana.

June 9, 2011 - 10:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, alexander.

Shannon Mowbray Graham, 34, of Colonnade Drive, Rochester, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, refusal to take breath test, failure to stop for stop sign and inadequate exhaust. Graham was stopped at 12:06 a.m. on Route 98 in Alexander by Deputy Joseph Graff.

A 17-year-old resident of Wood Road, Holley, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21. The youth was arrested following a report of an underage person allegedly buying alcohol in Bergen.


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