ALBION – A former Middleport resident was arraigned in Orleans County Court on Monday for two burglaries in the county from about three years ago.
Nichole Hart, 26, allegedly broke into a house on Creek Road in Shelby on Dec. 3, 2014 and Dec. 28, 2014 on East Lee Road in Barre. She allegedly took five firms arms, $6,000 in cash, and a laptop. She also allegedly damaged a window.
She faces charges of two counts of second-degree burglary, grand larceny in the first and fourth degrees, petit larceny, and criminal mischief in the fourth degree.
Hart had been living in New York City for about two years. She was in a residential drug treatment program in New York and a judicial diversion program after being arrested for grand larceny in the city.
She was extradited to Orleans County in July to face the charges related to the two burglaries in December 2014.
Her attorney, Christopher Privateer, said the case against Hart is “tenuous at best.” There is no evidence tying her to the Shelby burglary, he said. A flashlight dropped at the scene in Shelby included DNA that doesn’t match Hart’s, Privateer said.
The attorney said Hart was doing well in the treatment and diversion programs at New York City. She also has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He asked that Hart be released from jail so she can stay with her mother and get needed medical care.
District Attorney Joe Cardone said the case against Hart is strong. Another person was allegedly involved in the burglaries. Hart was allegedly with that person in a stolen car when the stolen guns were seized. A video also shows Hart carrying some of the stolen items, Cardone said.
The $6,000 hasn’t been recovered, the DA said.
“When she fled the area, she clearly knew police were hot on her trail,” Cardone said.
The DA asked the judge to set bail at $200,000 because Hart “is a tremendous flight risk.”
Judge Sara Sheldon set bail at $50,000 cash and $100,000 bond.
In other cases on Monday:
• The judge arraigned Jerry Gray, who was arrested on July 26 and charged with eight counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, burglary in the second degree, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.
He has been in jail since the arrest on $500,000 cash bail and $1 million bond.
Gray, 44, has five prior felonies, five failures to appear in court and has had his probation and parole revoked. His 19 prior arrests include unlawful chases with police, and auto thefts.
“This is one of the longest rap sheets I’ve ever seen,” Judge Sheldon said. “That’s kind of sad.”
Gray was arraigned on Monday for second- and third-degree burglary. His attorney, Dominic Saraceno, asked that bail be set at $25,000. The latest burglaries didn’t involved any violence, Saraceno said.
The judge said second-degree burglary is considered a violent crime. She set bail at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.
• An Albion man was accepted into a judicial diversion program. The program is normally a year. But for Jacob Marks, the program will be at least two years.
He needs to stay off drugs and not break any laws during that time. If he can’t follow the rules, Judge Sheldon told Marks he would go to state prison where he would face a maximum sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years for third-degree grand larceny.
If he completes the program, the felony charge will be dismissed and he will face a maximum of three years on probation.
Marks, 28, of Densmore Street pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and petit larceny. He admitted to taking a credit card and jewelry from the victim in the crime and spending $38,2160 in unauthorized purchases from September 2016 to April 2017. He needs to pay restitution at the full amount.
Sheldon accepted Marks into the diversion program despite recommendations against him from probation, the DA’s Office and GCASA. Marks has tried programs before and failed three times. He did complete one drug treatment program.
He told the judge he has struggled with drug addiction since he was 16.
He and his wife have a newborn child. The baby is giving Marks added incentive to stay off drugs, he told the judge.
She ordered him to go into an in-patient drug treatment program right away.
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