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November 9, 2018 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

A man who drunkenly broke into a home on Swan Street in Batavia and picked up a child in that residence said in County Court this morning that he knew he terrified the people living there and he felt horrible about it. He said he knew he deserved to go to jail.

Judge Charles Zambito sentenced Sath Paul Dhanda, 39, of Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, to eight months in jail on a conviction, based on a prior guilty plea, to charges of criminal trespass and endangering the welfare of a child.

"I don't know these people," Dhanda said. "I have never seen them. I wouldn't know them if I saw them. I feel awful about what I did. I do believe I deserve time in jail to make sure it doesn't happen again."

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini blamed Dhanda's conduct on his drinking. Dhanda's criminal history goes back to at least 2007, the year after he reportedly suffered a head injury, when he was charged with assault at a residence on Ellicott Street. He's been arrested numerous times since then.  

By his own account and the word of others, Dhanda once had a promising golf career, and after being released from prison on a 2011 conviction for criminal contempt, Dhanda worked as a pro at a golf course in the region.

Today's court appearance today echoed Dhanda's sentencing in 2011 when he told then Judge Robert C. Noonan, "Alcoholism has destroyed my once promising life."

Cianfrini said today, "Everytime Mr. Dhanda drinks, almost every time he drinks, it seems he winds up in legal difficulty. He needs to come to the realization that he's a person who can't consume even one drop of alcohol."

She said he was lucky he hadn't seriously injured himself or somebody else given his lack of self-control when he's drinking. For his own safety and the safety of others, she asked Zambito to give him the longest possible sentence allowed by his plea agreement."

"Ms. Cianfrini is right," Dhanda said. "Alcohol is my problem but it's not every time I drink that I get into trouble but every time I get into trouble it's because I've been drinking."

He said prior to his arrest in July he had trouble with his health insurance and had trouble getting prescription medication. He mentioned going to UMMC and getting his medication and then taking it with alcohol. He said a friend was supposed to pick him up but instead of waiting he decided to walk. He said he blacked out and didn't remember entering the residence on Swan Street.

Dhanda is a good-looking man. Tall with the athletic build of a golfer, he is the son of a once-prominent urologist in Batavia. He is also well spoken and well mannered in court.

Zambito said the probation officer who prepared his pre-sentencing report said Dhanda was his "own worst enemy."

"It's clear," Zambito said reading from the report, "the defendant could do great things with his life if he would stop drinking and doing drugs."

November 9, 2018 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
mug_tomlin_jan2018.jpg
       Jaequele Tomlin

A trial date has been set for two men accused of running a scam on Craigslist, but there may also be a plea deal in the works for one or both of the suspects.

Jaequele M. Tomlin, 23, of Central Avenue, Batavia, and Quamane J. Santiago, 19, of Main Road, Stafford, appeared in County Court today on what was scheduled to be their plea cutoff date but with the agreement of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and Judge Charles Zambito the plea cutoff date was extended to Nov. 19.

Tomlin's attorney, Arthur A. Duncan, said he needed more time in light of a decision on a motion handed down by Zambito.

The nature of the motion or the content of Zambito's decision was not discussed in open court.

Tomlin and Santiago are charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree.

They are accused of posting car-for-sale ads on Craigslist with the intent of robbing anybody who showed up to buy the car.

At the time of their arrest, they were allegedly found in possession of fake guns.

Tomlin faces an additional charge of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, for allegedly possessing a blunt-force weapon with the intention to use it against a person.

Fred Rarick, attorney for Santiago, did not indicate whether his client is considering a plea offer but Rarick agreed to the extension of the plea-cutoff date.

If no plea agreement is reached in either case, jury selection for a trial is scheduled for March 25.

"The snow should have melted by then," Zambito joked.

November 9, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

One of the two men arrested in connection to thefts from local liquor stores, where one man would distract the store clerk and another would enter the back room to steal cash or credit cards, admitted to his crimes today in front of County Court Judge Charles Zambito.

Edward F. Perdue, 57, walked into court dressed in a tan state prison jumpsuit with his hands and feet shackled. He seemed confused and wandered in front of the defense table at which point a state prison guard, one of his escorts, pointed to a chair on the other side of the table and told him where to sit.

Perdue was soft-spoken throughout the hearing and when Zambito asked him how he was feeling, he said, "a little depressed and down."

When Zambito asked him if he understood the proceedings, Perdue fought back tears before saying he did.

Perdue, who said he was born in Rochester, is already being held at the Mohawk Correctional Facility since his conviction in April in Monroe County on counts of third-degree burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, grand larceny, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th. He was sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison.

With his guilty plea today to grand larceny, 4th, for the theft of a credit card, the maximum term is two to four years.  

A year ago, Perdue participated with another suspect in a burglary of Plaza Spirits and Mr. Wine and Liquor. A cash box was stolen from the backroom of Plaza Spirts and a credit card was stolen from a purse at Mr. Wine and Liquor.

At one point, when Zambito was questioning about him about his status as a second felony offender, Perdue got a little more animated and exclaimed that he didn't steal $500 cash from Mr. Wine and Liquor.

Perdue's accomplice, Willie Dozier, previously entered a guilty plea to grand larceny, 3rd, as a second felony offender. He was sentenced in September to two to four years in state prison, to run concurrent with his sentence in Monroe County on charges stemming from similar crimes. Dozier was also ordered to pay restitution of $672.

November 8, 2018 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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Jennifer K. Urvizu-Hanlon

Whether certain statements Jennifer K. Urvizu-Hanlon made while in custody May 18, during the police investigation into a homicide and shooting the day before on Central Avenue in the city, can be used against her in court will be decided by Judge Charles Zambito by Jan. 4.

Urvizu-Hanlon appeared in court today for a hearing on the admissibility of those statements, called a Huntley Hearing (or a suppression hearing), and her attorney tried to use his time in court to also press for statements and notes from police that he believes his client has been wrongfully denied as he prepares to take her case to trial.

Whether Hanlon's statements can be used may come down to how Zambito views, within the scope of prior case law, two things Hanlon said during her interview with Det. Thad Mart, Batavia PD, that may indicate she had doubts about talking with police.

During the interview, she apparently said, "If I'm guilty of something I should have somebody here, I guess," and "I guess I should have somebody here" followed by "I don't have a lawyer."

A short time later she specifically asked for an attorney, at which point Mart terminated the interview and, apparently with enough evidence at that point, placed her under arrest.

Urvizu-Hanlon, the former owner of La Mexicana store on East Main Street in Batavia, is charged with criminal liability for conduct of another/criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd. She is accused of giving a handgun, which she was permitted to carry, to Samuel R. Blackshear, a 17-year-old accused of shooting Nathaniel D. Wilson Jr., who murdered Terry J. Toote with a knife on Central Avenue on May 17.

In a discussion after the hearing, with a reporter present, between defense attorney Christian Kennedy and First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini, Kennedy said he doesn't dispute that the statements were equivocal.

Prior case law makes it clear, and Kennedy said he knew he would lose a motion on this point, because saying "I guess" or "maybe" is equivocal, whereas a statement like, "I want to speak to an attorney," or even, "I want to speak to my dad," or "I want to speak to my friend" is unequivocal and any statements made after that point to police might not be admissible at trial.

Kennedy said he will base his written motion, to be filed later, on other grounds but did not disclose what his argument will be.

Det. Kevin Czora testified today followed by Det. Mart.

Czora said police obtained a warrant to search Urvizu-Hanlon's car as part of their investigation into the crimes on Central Avenue and that her car was located and stopped in the parking lot of Valu Plaza at about 2:25 p.m., May 18. 

Urvizu-Hanlon was taken into custody for questioning and placed in the back of a police cruiser. At that point, she volunteered to an officer that there was a handgun in her car, as well as ammunition and that the gun was either on the passenger side next to the center console or in the trunk in a bag.

Czora then read her Miranda warnings (the right to an attorney, to remain silent, etc.) and she waived her rights. He then questioned her about the gun and its location.

At that point, Urvizu-Hanlon was transported to the police station where Mart questioned her.

The interview was videotaped and a DVD of that interview was placed into evidence.

Mart said Urvizu-Hanlon acknowledged that she had been read her rights and had waived those rights, agreeing to speak with him.

He said the interview started at 2:45 p.m. and terminated at 3:04 p.m. when she asked for an attorney.  

The substance of the interview, other than her two statements about maybe she should talk with somebody, was not discussed during today's hearing.

When Kennedy questioned both Czora and Mart, he tried to ask questions about their involvement in the investigation on May 17 but Cianfrini objected to that being outside the scope of a Huntley Hearing and Zambito sustained the objection.

Kennedy said he had been denied "Rosario material," which refers to material in possession of the prosecution that may have a bearing on the case.  

Zambito said Kennedy was entitled to Rosario material relevant to the Huntley Hearing (no such material was in dispute today) but statements, documents, and notes, won't become subject of a Rosario motion until trial, if there is a trial.

In 18 years of practicing law in other courts, Kennedy said, he had never been denied this material at this stage. This is a long-standing common complaint of defense attorneys in criminal cases in Genesee County Court.

The Batavian reported in September that Kennedy may be preparing a justification defense based on the idea that Blackshear and Hanlon had just witnessed Wilson murder Toote. Zambito has apparently issued a ruling limiting Kennedy's ability to use this defense. But based on today's discussion, Kennedy will present another motion and try to make the point that there is no case law that addresses this particular situation -- where the gun used was licensed and legally carried by the person who handed it over to a third party who used it.

As for the Huntley Hearing, there will be an additional written motion and argument filed by Kennedy and an opportunity for the people to answer. Zambito must also view the video of the interview. The case was put on the calendar for Jan. 4 with a written ruling from Zambito expected before that appearance.

November 8, 2018 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, Bethany, byron, batavia.

Julia A. Hawley, 41, of Coward Road, Byron, is charged with operating a motor vehicle while ability impaired by drugs, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely. Shortly after midnight on Wednesday Nov. 8, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call about a single-vehicle accident with injuries on Batavia-Elba Town Line Road. Investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office determined Hawley was the sole occupent of the Chevrolet Silverado that left the roadway, striking a tree stump. Hawley was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight. She was allegedly impaired by drugs at the time of the accident and arrested. She was also issued citations. The accident was investigated by Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Jenna Ferrando. Elba Fire Department also Mercy EMS assisted at the scene. (For previous coverage, click here.)

Shante C. Johnson, 21, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. A complaint of a wallet and credit card stolen in September was reported to the Le Roy Police Department and investigated. Johnson was arrested on Nov. 6 and issued an appearance ticket to be in Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 3. It is alleged that Johnson stole the wallet from a fellow employee while working in the Village of Le Roy and then attempted to use a credit card from the wallet in the City of Batavia.

Miguel Hernandez-Gonzalez, 35, of East Road, Bethany, is charged with driving while intoxicated, DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, and unsafe backing. Hernandez-Gonzalez was arrested following a motor-vehicle accident on East Road in Bethany at 4:42 a.m. on Nov. 3. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Bethany Town Court on Dec. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

November 8, 2018 - 2:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, news, batavia, crime.

A caller in the Walmart parking lot reports that he was threatened because of his Trump bumper sticker.

He claims it was a threat of physical violence.

A trooper and deputy dispatched.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: A trooper interviewed all parties involved. No arrest. A woman with a male made an anti-Trump statement to the man with a Trump bumper sticker on his truck. He said something back. It escalated from there but didn't become physical. Both the trooper and deputy on scene couldn't recall a prior incident in the Trump Era of threats over a bumper sticker, though the trooper recalled a Trump supporter in 2016 getting slushies dumped on his car and an anti-Trump note being left.

November 6, 2018 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, bergen, batavia, Le Roy, Oakfield.

Plush Dozier, 22, of Kelly Street, Rochester, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and attempted menacing of a police officer. He was arrested on Nov. 5 for an incident that occurred in August in which he allegedly damaged the door in the back of a GC Sheriff's vehicle while he was being transported for a court appearance. He also allegedly attempted to menace a police officer during the same incident. He was arraigned on the new charges in Batavia City Court and is due there again on Nov. 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Justin Williams, 56, Post Avenue, Staten Island, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Williams was arrested following an incident on Main Street in Oakfield at 2:58 a.m. on Nov. 5 in which he allegedly placed his hands around the neck of another person, causing them to be unable to breathe. He was arraigned in Oakfield Town Court and jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. Williams is due back in Oakfield Town Court at 6 p.m. Nov. 5. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor.

Lawrence W. Worsley, 38, of Ridge Road, Albion, is charged with third-degree assault. He was arrested after an investigation into a domestic incident which occurred at 1 a.m. on Nov. 2 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court then jailed on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is due to return to city court on Nov. 9. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Arick Perkins.

Teshawn Anthony Lang-Smith, 22, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment. He was arrested after a domestic incident that occurred at 3:20 p.m., Nov. 2, on Bank Street in Batavia. He allegedly damaged property belonging to another person. He was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $2,000 cash or bond and was due back in city court on Nov. 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Tyanna D. Green, 23, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, identity theft in the third degree and petit larceny.  It is alleged that at 6:13 p.m. on Sept. 11 on Highland Park in Batavia that she used a stolen debit card to make multiple ATM withdrawals. She was arrested on Nov 1 and jailed with bail. She was due back in Batavia City Court on Nov. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Jamie Givens.

Tyrone Lee Doward Jr., 28, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI -- first offense, and operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more. On Nov. 3, Doward was arrested on Lake Road in Le Roy following the investigation into a suspicious vehicle at the 490 Truck Stop in Le Roy. He was allegedly parked in the parking lot after hours when the business was closed. He was transported to GC Jail and processed, then issued appearance tickets. He is due in Town of Le Roy Court on Nov. 25. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Dennis S. Rogers Jr., 46, of Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 3 by Troopers out of SP Batavia as the result of a traffic stop on Route 5. Rogers was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, operating a vehicle without an interlock device, along with other traffic offenses after allegedly failing field sobriety tests. Rogers was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Pembroke later this month.

Riley Kristine Davis, 21, of Gilbert Road, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and a muffler exhaust violation. She was arrested at 11:47 p.m. Nov. 3 on Clinton Street in Batavia after being pulled over for a muffler violation. She was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Joseph W. Morrow, 18, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested on Cedar Street in Batavia at 9:05 p.m. on Nov. 5 after he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

November 6, 2018 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Grand Jury, batavia, Darien, Stafford, Oakfield.

Paul M. Gelardo is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by drugs, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 13 in the Town of Oakfield that Gelardo drove a 2002 Chevrolet on South Pearl Street while his ability to do so was impaired by drugs. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unilicensed operation of the motor vehicle in the first degree, another Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that Gelardo knew, or had reason to know, that his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities at the time he drove on South Pearl Street, and he did so while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. In count three, he is accused of the same crime as in count two, plus it alleges he had in effect three or more suspensions imposed on at least three separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine. In Special Information filed by the Genesee County District Attorney, Gelardo is accused of having been convicted of driving while impaired by drugs, as a misdemeanor, on March 14, 2016 in Town of Brighton Court. That conviction was within 10 years of the commission of crimes alleged in the current indictment, and he knew, or should have known, about that conviction and that his driver's license was still suspended.

Shawn J. Scheg is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on July 25 in the Town of Stafford that Scheg drove a 2007 Acura on Route 33 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, also a Class E felony, for driving that day while his license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. In count three, he is accused of circumventing an ignition interlock device, a Class A misdemeanor, which he was court ordered to have on his vehicle and which the Acura did not have. In Special Information filed by the Genesee County District Attorney, Scheg is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Oct. 9, 2012 in Genesee County Court, and that conviction forms for basis for the suspension or revocation referred to in count two of the current indictment.

Carl W. Altman is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 26 Altman drove a 1998 Ford in the Darien Lake Concert Amphitheater parking lot in the Town of Darien while he was intoxicated. In Special Information filed by the Genesee County District Attorney, Altman is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a misdemeanor on Aug. 24, 2015 in Town of Gates Court and that conviction was within 10 years of the crime alleged in the current indictment.

David J. Henry is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, per se, as a misdemeanor. It is alleged that on March 3 in the Town of Stafford that Henry drove on 2017 Volkswagon on Route 90 while having a BAC or .08 or more. In count two, he is accused of DWI, a msidemeanor. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count three that Henry drove while under the influence of alcohol or a drug while his license was suspended or revoked and while he had three or more suspensions imposed or at least three separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine.

November 3, 2018 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify, Le Roy.

John P. Wittkopp, 35, of Columbia Avenue, Batavia, is charged with sixth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree grand larceny -- value greater than $1,000. On Oct. 31, Wittkopp responded to Batavia PD and was arrested after an investigation into an incident that occurred at 4:21 p.m. on Oct. 27 on Main Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket, released, and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Jamie M. Ficarella, 42, of Liberty Street, Batavia is charged with sixth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree grand larceny -- value greater than $1,000. On Oct. 31, Ficarella responded to Batavia PD and was arrested after an investigation into an incident that occurred at 3 p.m. on Oct. 28 on East Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket, released, and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Breanna C. Toal, 22, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and falsifying business records in the first degree. Toal was arrested Oct. 28 following an investigation into a report that she stole from her employer while working at 7-Eleven on East Main Street in Batavia. She was processed and released on an appearance. She is due in city court on Nov. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Aaron L. Klein, 47, no permanent address, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Klein was arrested on three counts of petit larceny following an investigation into property that was stolen from a residence on Montclair Avenue in the City of Batavia, shortly after midnight on July 26. He was already being held in Genesee County Jail on unrelated charges. He was issued an appearance ticket for city court and is due there Nov. 13. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Olivia J. Paganin, 29, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Nov. 1 by Le Roy Police Officer Kellogg on a Batavia City Court warrant. The defendant was then extradited to Batavia PD, arraigned in city court and put in jail. Paganin is due in city court at a later date. The case was handled in Batavia by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

November 2, 2018 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Richard D. Hanes, Raymond Morgan, murder, crime, batavia, notify.

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richardhanesmug2018.jpg
      Richard Hanes

A former Orleans County resident whom investigators believe planned the murder of Raymond Morgan before beating him to death in his apartment at 111 Liberty St., Batavia, on July 24, was charged in Genesee County Court today with murder in the second degree.

Richard D. Hanes, 36, entered a not guilty plea before a courtroom packed with Morgan's family and friends as well as several police officers and detectives from Batavia PD. He was shackled and dressed in the green jumpsuit of the Department of Corrections and accompanied by a pair of corrections officers.

"Right now we don't have a motive," said Det. Kevin Czora after Hanes was arraigned on the single count of second-degree murder. "All we know is that it was an exceptionally violent attack that happened in an extremely short period of time. I believe it was premeditated from the evidence that we've collected, and what we know, but as of right now we do not have a motive."

Hanes has been in state custody since July 26, two days after the murder, on an alleged parole violation. He is being held at the Attica Correctional Facility.

He was convicted in Orleans County in 2003 of burglary, 3rd, attempted robbery, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th. His parole on those charges expires Dec. 7.

According to a police spokesman, Hanes was living at 5 Thorpe St., Batavia, a rooming house for clients of GCASA, at the time of the alleged murder.

The evidence against Hanes, according to Czora and District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, is wide-ranging.

"There were witnesses in the area who, when this happened, identified him," Friedman said. "That's how it got started. So we have that. There are various items of physical evidence that were found and connected to him. We've got surveillance video from various locations that follow his path after the crime. There are also various items of scientific evidence."

Hanes is scheduled to remain in state custody until early December. Judge Charles Zambito ordered him held without bail but Fred Rarick, representing Hanes, said he reserved his right to make a bail application at a later date. Hanes will next appear in County Court on Jan. 9 for a hearing on any motions that have been filed.

Though Morgan had his own trouble with the law, he was a 47-year-old Batavia native with a large, tight-knit family locally, including five grandchildren, and a large network of close friends. Victor Thomas said they're all relieved to see the case reach this stage after months of waiting for justice to be served.

"This is the first step," Thomas said. "At least we start to see some justice; at least we got a name; at least we have a charge; at least we've got a prosecutor and somebody who is going to fight for us."

While police identified a suspect early in the investigation and gathered several items of physical evidence, formal charges were delayed until DNA could be analyzed.

Friedman said, because of ethical guidelines, he couldn't discuss that aspect of the case but he said the important factor was just making sure all of the evidence was ready for a successful prosecution.

"I can say that the delay was a matter of completing the investigation," Friedman said. "Fortunately, we had the luxury of time knowing that he was being held on a parole detainer and we knew what our timeline was as far as when we needed to have a grand jury presentation to make sure that we were at this point before he got released by parole."

He said he understood the desire of family and friends to see an arrest made quickly.

"Obviously, I've known all along that there are a lot of people who are very interested in this case, family members, people who are anxious to see something happen and we're maybe at times troubled by the fact that that wasn't happening quicker," Friedman said. "But my position has always been in this case and others is, we're going to do it right rather than doing it quickly. We're not going to jump the gun before we've got everything in order."

Todd Crossett, Batavia PD's assistant chief, said patrol officers and detectives put in more than 800 hours on the case so far (and the investigation isn't done).

"This is a culmination of many hours of work from patrol officers doing an excellent work at the initial crime scene and then going to the detectives," Crossett said. "Anything that came into the department, they were on it. Long, long hours, especially when it initially came in, long hours of chasing everything down. I think because of that hard work in the beginning that's why we ultimately got to where we are."

There has been speculation, Czora acknowledged, that there may have been other people involved in the murder of Morgan. He said every lead along those lines has been pursued and so far there is no evidence of any other people being involved.

The investigation doesn't end with the arraignment today, Czora said.

"There are countless numbers of pieces of evidence that we've obtained and processed and continue to process even still to this day," Czora said. "Our investigation continues even after this arraignment. It's just been an extensive amount of work that needed to be accomplished."

Top photo: Friends and family wearing T-shirts in tribute to Ray Morgan.

November 2, 2018 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in BREAKING, news, notify, crime, batavia.

Richard D. Hanes is charged with second-degree murder, a Class A-1 felony, in the beating death of Raymond Morgan on July 24.

The crime occurred at 111 Liberty St. in the City of Batavia.

Hanes was indicted by a Grand Jury and arraigned in Genesee County Court this afternoon.

The charge carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

UPDATE: Investigators believe murder of Ray Morgan was premeditated

November 1, 2018 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, alexander, Bethany.

David J. Somerton, 36, of Kelsey Road, Batavia, (in photo above) is charged with five felony counts of disseminating indecent material to a minor. Somerton was arrested and arraigned on Oct. 31 following an investigation into an offense that occurred on Kelsey Road in the Town of Batavia on Oct. 13. Additional charges are pending. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Howard Carlson, assisted by Investigator/Youth Officer Timothy Westcott. The Genesee County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division was assisted by the FBI Buffalo field office.

Victoria Lynn Jacques, 49, of Seward Road, Alexander, is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, with a BAC of .18 or higher, and DWI -- first offense. Jacques was arrrested at 8:42 p.m. Oct. 27 on Broadway Road in Bethany. She was operating a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle cited in a traffic offense complaint called into the Emergency Dispatch Center. Genesee County Sheriff's deputies pulled her vehicle over and allegedly determined she was intoxicated. She was transported to Genesee County Jail and released on appearance tickets for Town of Bethany Court Nov. 22. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen, assisted by Deputy Mathew Clor.

October 31, 2018 - 7:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Halloween, batavia, crime, news.

A group of youths was reportedly smashing pumpkins and yelling at people before possibly entering a blue house near the intersection of East Avenue and Vine Street in the city. Batavia police are responding.

October 31, 2018 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, crime, news, notify, Stafford.

David A. Leach Jr., 24, of Stafford, was arrested Oct. 20th by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with: first-degree burglary, a Class B felony; second-degree strangulation, a Class D felony; third-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony; and third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor. In the early morning hours of Oct. 20th, Le Roy police responded to the report of physical domestic incident in progress. Upon arrival, the suspect, later identified as Leach Jr., had fled the scene and was believed to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. It is alleged that Leach Jr. broke into a residence causing damage to property in the process, and once inside the residence a physical altercation occurred. During the altercation, Leach Jr. allegedly placed his hands around the victim’s neck, obstructing the breathing of the victim, and he bit the victim, causing physical injury. The defendant was subsequently located by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and faces additional charges. He was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail. Leach Jr. is to return to the Le Roy Town Court at a later date to answer to the charges.

Heather M. Coates, 32, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, and charged with one count of hindering prosecution in the third degree and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, both Class A misdemeanors. On Oct. 25, the Le Roy Police Department assisted New York State Parole with attempting to locate Rob H. Hoag. New York State Parole received information that Hoag was allegedly at Coates’ residence and at the time there was a child under the age of 17 also present in the residence, in violation of Hoag’s parole conditions. Patrols responded to the residence and spoke with Coates, who allegedly made several statements to the patrols hindering their investigation to locate Hoag. During the investigation, Hoag allegedly jumped from a second-story window at the residence then fled from police on foot. The Le Roy Police Department was assisted by the New York State Police and DEC K9 Unit in an attempt to locate Hoag. To avoid capture, it is believed Hoag was picked up in a vehicle and then left the area. Hoag was not located on the date of the incident. Coates was arrested as a result of assisting Hoag from being located by the police as well allowing Hoag to be in the presence of a child under the age of 17. Hoag was located and taken into custody on Oct. 26 on parole violations. Hoag also has pending charges with the Le Roy Police Department as a result of the incident on Oct. 25. Coates was arraigned in the Le Roy Town Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. Coates is to reappear in the Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 3.

October 29, 2018 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, notify, pembroke, crime.

Brendan David Curry, 38, of Batavia Elba Townline Road, Batavia, is charged with: DWI with a previous conviction within the last 10 years; refusal to take a breath test; operator leaving the scene of a property damage accident; moving from lane unsafely; and second-degree burglary -- illegal entry of a dwelling. Batavia police were called to an address on Ellicott Street for a burglary in progress at 12:08 a.m. on Oct. 24. They were advised that Curry had fled the scene in a vehicle and had also struck a guard rail. NYS Police located Curry and his vehicle at the intersection of Webster Avenue and Howard Street. Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis interviewed Curry and allegedly found him to be intoxicated and he was arrested. Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot investigated the burglary and arrested him on the charge of second-degree burglary. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond for the DWI; he was released on his own recognizance on the burglary charge. He was to return to city court the same day, Oct. 24. Batavia Police officers McGinnis and DeGroot handled this case.

A 17-year-old who lives on Oak Street in Batavia is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. The defendant was arrested following a report that the defendant punched and pushed a juvenile near Dwyer Stadium at 7:40 a.m. on Oct. 17. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 13. Then on Oct. 28, the same teenager and a codefendant, no age given, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and fighting in public. They allegedly entered the scene of a car accident at 2:13 p.m. on Oct. 28 on West Main Street, Batavia, while it was actively being investigated by police and engaged in a violent public fight. Neither defendant was connected to the accident in any way. They were processed and released on appearance tickets and are due in city court on Nov. 13. Both cases were handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Lindsay JR Goins Jr., 62, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. He was arrested Oct. 24 for an incident that occurred at 4:46 p.m. on Oct. 23 on State Street during which he allegedly had physical contact with another person. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Oct. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik, assisted by Officer Catherine Mucha.

Annie G. Stanley, 65, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. She was arrested Oct. 24 for an incident that occurred at 4:46 p.m. on Oct. 23 on State Street during which she allegedly had physical contact with another person. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Oct. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik, assisted by Officer Catherine Mucha.

Raymond Charles Cook, 48, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- first offense; operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08 percent or more; third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator; failure to use designated lane; and driving left of pavement markings. At 12:41 a.m. while on patrol, Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis observed a vehicle traveling westbound on Main Street in Batavia committing numerous traffic infractions. After a roadside investigation, Cook was arrested. He was release on appearance tickets and is due in city court on Oct. 31. Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay assisted Officer McGinnis with the case.

Jordan Edenholm, 30, of Gabbey Road, Pembroke, is charged with: driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more; DWI; speeding; and making an improper left turn. He was arrested following a traffic stop on Route 63 in Batavia at 11:35 p.m. on Oct. 27. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy James Stack, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

Brandon Michael Burgess, 31, of Maltby Road, Oakfield, is charged with: DWI; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more; inadequate exhaust; and following too closely. Following a traffic stop on Lewiston Road in Batavia at 8 p.m. on Oct. 26, Burgess was arrested on these charges. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on Nov. 15. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer, assisted by Deputy James Stack.

Kimberly A. Showler, 53, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested after it was discovered she was allegedly shoplifting at Tops Friendly Market in Batavia at 4:35 p.m. on Oct. 22. She is due in city court on Oct. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Thomas Allan Torrens Jr., 23, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. On Oct. 28 following a traffic stop at 10:23 p.m. on Main Street Road in Batavia, Torrens was arrrested on these charges. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on Nov. 12. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Brandon C. Smart, 41, of North Pembroke Road, Batavia, was arrested Oct. 26 on a Batavia City Court warrant for failure to appear on unnecessary noise charges he incurred on March 21 on Central Avenue in Batavia. The case was handled by Batavia Police Offier Stephen Quider, assisted by Jason Davis.

October 26, 2018 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Grand Jury, crime, notify, Darien, Basom, Le Roy.

Daniel E. King is indicted for the crime of failure to register a change of address as a sex offender, a Class E felony. It is alleged that the convicted sex offender moved to 2058 Phelps Road in the Town of Basom on Jan. 24 and failed to register his change of address with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services within 10 calendar days as required.

Candido Candelaria III is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 16 in the Town of Le Roy that Candelaria drove a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox on Route 33 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated DWI, per se, as a Class D felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .18 percent or more at the time. In count three, it is alleged that the defendant knew or had reason to know that his driver's license was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities, and that he was under the influence of alcohol or a drug at the time. In Special information filed by the District Attorney, Candelaria is accused of having been convicted for DWI, per se, on Jan. 9, 2017 in Town of Ridgeway Court, Orleans County. The conviction forms the basis for count three of the current indictment.

Benjamin J. Marien is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on June 15 in the Town of Darien that Marien drove a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado on Chick Road while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony, for allegedly having a BAC of .08 at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Marien is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a misdemeanor on Oct. 12, 2016, in City of Batavia Court and that conviction was within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

October 25, 2018 - 8:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.
mug_spinks.jpg
      Quinton Spinks
      (2010 photo)

A former Batavia resident who was arrested on drug dealing charges in August of 2017 will be allowed to miss his County Court date for sentencing because it will conflict with federal prosecution he's facing in Maine.

Until recently, local authorities were unsure where Quintin L. Spinks, 34, had gone. He was located in a federal detention facility in Maine where he faces an indictment involving other individual accused of dealing drugs and trafficking in weapons.

Spinks, in the federal indictment, is named in only count one of the indictments, for conspiracy to distribute a mixture of heroin and cocaine.

Attorney Thomas Burns told Judge Charles Zambito in County Court today, where Spinks appeared, escorted by state corrections officers, that his client sought a delay in sentencing for "strategic" reasons related to his pending federal case and a pending case in Monroe County.

While the delay might help his other cases, it may mean he can't make it back for his sentencing once those cases are resolved, so today he waived his appearance for his eventual sentencing. He will allow Burns to accept a sentencing on his behalf.  

How the delay might help Spinks with his federal case was not discussed in open court.

Under a plea agreement, he can expect a prison term of under two years but there is no cap on his post-release supervision. He will also be required to pay the standard fines and make a $200 restitution to the county before he is sentenced.

He was arrested by the Local Drug Task Force on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

He was arrested by federal authorities in Maine in June. His co-defendants are Rashaad McKinney, Deondray Warren, Sharoz Haywood, and Demario Boler. All face drug charges but McKinney and Warren also face federal weapons charges for making straw purchases of firearms -- buying guns using a fake name.

No date was sent for Spinks to be sentenced.

October 25, 2018 - 8:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A person is apparently chasing a bike-theft suspect northbound on Walnut Street, Batavia.

There's no description of the bike thief.

UPDATE 8:43 p.m.: Police are out with the original caller on Walnut Street. No word on the bike thief.

UPDATE 8:48 p.m.: The suspect was last seen westbound on Main Street riding a pink and purple Roadmaster 10-speed.

October 25, 2018 - 6:25pm

Photo of two additional dogs that Welch had. Both are at the county animal shelter.

Suspected puppy abuser Brandon Welch made his first court appearance yesterday afternoon since his arrest Oct. 18.

The 23-year-old, who lives in an apartment on East Main Street in the city, was granted bail at his preliminary hearing.

It was requested by his private counsel, Frank Ciardi, on the misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree (for claiming he found the starving puppy); torturing/injuring/not feeding an animal; and owning/harboring an unlicensed dog.

Ciardi, whose criminal defense practice is based in Rochester, advocated his client's suitability for bail by noting that Welch has no criminal history, he's lived here two years and was employed in Churchville at the time of his arrest.

To Ciardi's right stood his diminutive client, silent and stoop shouldered; shackled and wearing orange jail uniform, with his head nearly shorn bald and his brown beard neatly trimmed.

City Court Judge Robert Balbick set Welch's bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond, which was not opposed by First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini.

The question of bail for the Class D felony charge of making a terroristic threat was deemed null and void after two witnesses could not get here in time to testify. The charge was brought after investigators learned that the defendant allegedly said he would shoot the next cop who came to his home.

Two female witnesses were to be served with orders of protection from Welch, subpoenaed and brought from the "other side of the state" to Batavia to testify about the threat they allege Welch made against law enforcement. That failed to happen by 11:30 a.m. yesterday.

As of the day before -- Tuesday afternoon -- Welch's case was docketed for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Yet the pair of witnesses was apparently scheduled to give statements earlier -- in the morning -- and the deadline could not be met.

The first district attorney said not only were orders of protection requested, and subpeonas sought, but the people requested all of Welch's firearms to be turned over; she was concerned that only two of three known weapons were recovered in Welch's apartment by law enforcement after they got a search warrant.

Judge Balbick said there was no order on file concerning the firearms.

Cianfrini said she had supporting depositions showing that the defense was asked to turn over all weapons and ammunition.

"He freely handed over the weapons he had there," replied Ciardi.

But a third weapon, a rifle which Cianfrini referred to as a "30-'ott'-6" -- which is a caliber, a size of cartridge (.30-06) that is used in various kinds of weapons and is powerful enough to take down a moose -- was not recovered.

The rifle and ammo were missing and a rifle case was "found empty," she said, adding that this made the people uncomfortable because Welch had been seen in possession of the rifle.

Ciardi then asked: "Why would he turn over two weapons and not all three?"

He added that if Welch is released -- he makes bail -- he will advise him to turn over all weapons.

To ensure their costs are covered, a security bond application was filed with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office by Animal Control to recoup costs to shelter, feed and care for Welch's pets.

An emaciated 9.2-pound pit bull mix pup now known as "Opal" was brought to Batavia Police after it was found in Stafford Oct. 4. A tipster later led police to Welch. 

Three other animals in his care were subsequently seized from Welch's home: a bearded dragon lizard, which, like Opal, is now in foster care; and two other mixed breed dogs, which Welch told Judge Balbick are part boxer and part German shephard, respectively. The canines appear healthy, albeit lean, and are at the shelter. They have an eager-to-please, energetic disposition.

Under Article 26 of the state Agriculture and Markets Law, the shelter is eligible to be reimbursed at a rate of $10 per animal per day for any seized animal in its custody, plus vet bills. Vet bills in Welch's case to date stand at $837.38 and counting.

The bond application sought was for more than $4,500, according to Animal Control.

Because Welch forfeited ownership of all four creatures, repayment for costs incurred and vet bills will not be sought and the security bond application was vacated.

Welch's next city court date is 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, for discovery on the misdemeanor counts and pre-trial motions.

Inset photo above right: This is an example of the kind of lizard -- a bearded dragon lizard -- Welch kept before relinquishing ownership Wednesday. It is not a picture of the one that belonged to Welch.

October 25, 2018 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

Ronnie L. Calloway, 24, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault. He was arrested on Oct. 23 after city police responded to 22 Hutchins Place. He was jailed on $2,500 bail and was due in Batavia City Court this morning (Oct. 25). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Renee L. Sweet, 36, of Prestige Crossing, Batavia, and Danielle E. Winter, 29, of Park Street, Alden, were arrested at 1:58 p.m. on Oct. 20 on East Main Street in Batavia and charged with disorderly conduct. They were allegedly observed by two Batavia Police officers engaging in a physical altercation outside. They are due in Batavia City Court on Oct. 30. Sweet's case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins. Winter's case was handled by Officer Perkins, assisted by Officer Cowen.

Thomas Allen Griffin, 31, of Ellicott Place, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested Oct. 22 after allegedly violating a stay-away order of protection at 12:06 p.m. on Oct. 20 by being at the residence of the protected party. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Oct. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Katty Lee Jackson, 22, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court on a ticket for criminal trespass. She was arraigned, then released on her own recognizance and is due in Batavia City Court on Nov. 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Harry R. Silliman, 54, homeless, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt for an alleged violation of a court order. At 4:57 p.m. on Oct. 19, Silliman was arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail. He was due back in court on Oct. 22. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kyle Krtanik, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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