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Woman admits to having illegal gun and could face 1 ½ to 3 years in prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 October 2018 at 3:27 pm

ALBION – A North Carolina woman pleaded guilty today to criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, after a loaded gun was found in her rental car on Aug. 26 when she was visiting the Albion Correctional Facility.

Ashley Mongeon of Charlotte, NC, could face up to 11/2 to 3 years in state prison when she is sentenced on Jan. 24.

She told Orleans County Court Judge Sanford Church she didn’t know the Smith & Wesson handgun was stolen. She bought it on the street in South Carolina. She told the judge she knew that it was illegal to acquire a gun that way.

In other cases in County Court today:

• A Medina resident was resentenced today after an error from his sentencing on July 23. Dino Callara, 50, in July was sentenced to 3 years in state prison for criminal possession of a weapon. The court sentenced him for committing a violent felony.

After the reviewing the case, the crime was determined to not be a violent felony. Callara was resentenced to a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years in state prison.

He was arrested in February after he allegedly possessed and sold a firearm in November 2017.

• A Waterford, Saratoga County man admitted to mailing suboxone to an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility.

Joshua J. Johnson, 38, pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband and faces a maximum sentence of probation as part of a plea arrangement that includes no jail time. Johnson said he was asked by an inmate to mail suboxone, and he did it knowing it was wrong. Suboxone is an opioid medication.

He will be sentenced on Jan. 4.

Sarah MacDonald, an inmate at the prison, is a codefendant in the case. She also pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree. She said she asked to have to suboxone sent to her to help her fight withdrawals from her drug addiction. The suboxone was intercepted by corrections staff. She didn’t receive it.

As a second felony offender, she could face a minimum of 1 ½ years and a maximum of 3 years in prison when she is sentenced on Jan. 10.

• Two other people were also arraigned for promoting prison contraband in the first degree for attempting to have suboxone be brought into the Albion Correctional Facility.

Edwin King, 58, of the Bronx allegedly mailed suboxone on two occasions, March 12 and April 13. He is charged with two counts each of promoting prison contraband and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree.

Judge Church set bail at $25,000 for King, who has two prior felonies, several misdemeanors and three instances of failure to appear at court.

Maijia Scott, an inmate at the women’s prison, is the codefendant in the case. She was arraigned on two counts each of promoting prison contraband and criminal possession of controlled substance in the fourth degree.

She is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder from 2000. Because of that prior record, the judge set bail at $250,000, although Scott is expected to be in custody for several more years.

• A Lyndonville man was arraigned for aggravated driving while intoxicated, a felony. Kenneth Lonnen, 44, was arrested on Aug. 2 in Yates for allegedly driving with a BAC of 0.24percent, which is three times the legal limit.

• The judge set a Dec. 3 as the start of a trial against Collen Poole of Medina. He previously rejected a plea offer to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, with a cap of five years in state prison.

He was charged on March 1 after police found cocaine, marijuana and pills identified as Hydrocodone and Ecstasy.

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2 men are arraigned in County Court for sex abuse against juveniles

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 September 2018 at 3:57 pm

ALBION – Two men from Orleans County were arraigned in County Court today in separate cases of sex abuse against juveniles.

Christopher Pressley, 35, of Albion allegedly had sex with a 12-year-old girl. He was arraigned this morning on three counts of first-degree rape, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child.

Pressley, represented by attorney Michael O’Keefe, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Susan Howard, the assistant district attorney, asked for an order of protection for the alleged victim.

Judge Sanford Church approved the order and set bail for $20,000 cash or bond.

A Lyndonville man, who allegedly had sexual contact with a victim under the age of 11, also was arraigned.

Jason A. Dusett, 43, is charged with four counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, three counts of first-degree sex abuse and one count of second-degree sex abuse.

Judge Church set bail at $20,000 and issued an order of protection for the alleged victim.

In other cases in County Court today:

Jordan Herring of Holley, who is in the County Jail due to a parole violation, was arraigned for two counts of making a terrorist threat. He allegedly told a person over the telephone that he intended to stab and harm a probation officer and other law enforcement.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said the phone conversation was recorded from the jail.

Herring will remain in the county jail with no bail.

• An Albion man pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and circumvention of an interlock ignition device.

Jason Perry, 36, was charged on July 26 in the Village of Albion with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.19 percent. He has two prior DWIs within the past decade.

He could be sentenced to a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison on Dec. 6. He remains in jail on $2,500 bail. His attorney, public defender Joanne Best, asked the bail be reduced so he could continue working. She said the bail is too high.

Judge Church said the bail is reasonable and declined to release Perry on his own recognizance.

Roy Shonerd, 37, of Albion pleaded guilty to attempted welfare fraud and agreed to pay $9,265 in restitution. Shonerd allegedly accepted welfare benefits he wasn’t entitled to from January 2012 to December 2017. He needs to pay the restitution to the Orleans County Department of Social Services.

As part of a plea deal today, he could face a maximum of nine months in jail. He will be sentenced on Dec. 20.

• An inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility pleaded guilty to attempted prison contraband in the first degree. Shannon Wilson said she had her husband bring a controlled substance to the prison on May 5.

She could be sentenced to a maximum of 1 ½ to 3 years in prison on Dec. 6.

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Albion man will be in prison for about a decade after assault

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2018 at 9:46 pm

ALBION – An Albion man will be in prison for about a decade after an assault that nearly killed a man on June 9, 2017.

Wesley Askew

Wesley Askew, 50, on May 15 pleaded guilty to attempted assault in the second degree. That charge carries a maximum of 2 to 4 years in prison.

However, because Askew was on parole, he goes back to prison until 2025 or for the seven years remaining on his post-release supervision. Then he will serve 2 to 4 more years in prison.

He was on post-release supervision after getting out from prison in late 2015. He was convicted in May 2009 of second-degree rape. He is a level 3 sex offender, the highest possible risk for re-offending.

He was sentenced today for the assault charge in Orleans County Court by Judge Sara Sheldon.

Askew seriously injured another Albion man on June 9, 2017 during a late-night fight at 175 North Main St., an apartment building north of the Erie Canal. Askew allegedly got into an altercation at 1:45 a.m. and allegedly punched another man several times, causing serious head injuries.

Joseph Julyan, 55, tried to intervene when Askew got in an argument with his girlfriend. Askew testified at a trial he was upset that Julyan didn’t mind his own business, District Attorney Joe Cardone said.

Askew allegedly punched Julyan five to seven times in the head. Julyan got to his feet, but fell and hit his head on concrete. Julyan suffered a stroke and has some paralysis on his right side.

“Virtually every time I have talked with him he has expressed remorse,” Askew’s attorney Larry Koss told Judge Sheldon. “He understands the tragedy that took place here.”

Askew had been drinking alcohol that night, which helps explain his actions but doesn’t excuse them, Koss said.

Cardone said Askew’s “overreaction” has caused “a devastating effect” for Julyan and his family, requiring care for the rest of his life.

Sheldon said Askew’s actions resulted in “a life sentenced for the victim.”

“I don’t believe you intended to leave this man basically as a vegetable,” Sheldon said at sentencing. “Basically you’ve destroyed his life.”

Askew was given “a gift” with the plea deal, the judge said.

It proved difficult for a doctor to pinpoint if Julyan’s injuries were caused by the punches from Askew or when Julyan fell and hit his head, Cardone said after Askew pleaded guilty in May.

The sentence today sends Askew to prison for 9 to 11 years.

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3 are sentenced to incarceration for crimes in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2018 at 5:35 pm

ALBION – Three people were sentenced to incarceration in Orleans County Court this afternoon.

Morris Taylor, 28, of Albion was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for violating his probation. He was recently charged with driving while intoxicated.

He was on probation for five years after admitting in court in July 2014 that he sold cocaine in Albion. As part of that sentence, he served six months in jail and was on probation.

Judge Sara Sheldon wanted to give Taylor weekends in jail for violating probation, but said she couldn’t because he had already served time in jail as part of the sentence that included probation.

“I’m afraid I don’t have  a lot of options of this,” Sheldon said.

In other cases:

Corey Goebel, 27, of Rochester was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 5 years of probation for third-degree burglary. He admitted in a previous court appearance to entering a garage on June 21, 2017, and intending to a commit a crime in Clarendon on Monroe-Orleans Countyline Road.

Goebel faces a similar charge in Monroe County and the sentencings will run at the same time.

As part of the sentencing in Orleans County, Goebel needs to pay $1,000 restitution to the victim, which is the deductible paid to the insurance company.

• A former Middleport resident was sentenced to a drug treatment program through the state prison system.

Nichole Hart, 27, allegedly broke into a house Dec. 28, 2014 on East Lee Road in Barre. She pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary with a maximum of 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison.

However, she was accepted into a diversion program. If she had been successful in the program, the felony would have been dismissed and she would have been sentenced to a misdemeanor.

Sheldon said Hart had some success in the program. The judge believes Hart is still a good candidate to succeed in drug treatment. If she doesn’t do well in the Willard program in the state prison system, she will have to do 1 ½ to 3 years of regular prison time.

As part of the sentence today, Hart was ordered to pay $9,174 in restitution.

• An Albion man appeared in court for a bail hearing. Clarence Dunbar, 48, of Chamberlain Street was arrested on Sept. 12 and is accused of selling cocaine.

He has been charged with 3 counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and 5 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

He has been in jail since Sept.12 with no bail set by a town justice. Joanne Best, the public defender, asked for a “manageable” bail for Dunbar, about $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

She noted Dunbar has a criminal history, but his previous most recent arrest was in 2008.

Judge Sanford Church presided over the case. He said Dunbar was involved in at least three drug sales on different dates with the latest arrest. Church set bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

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Medina man sentenced to 20 years in prison for rapes, criminal sex acts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2018 at 3:57 pm

MEDINA – A Medina man was sentenced to 20 years in state prison today after being found guilty of multiple counts of rape and criminal sexual act.

Gerardo Quiros

Gerardo Quiros, 31, was found guilty on June 25 during a trial. Judge Sara Sheldon this afternoon sentenced him to 10 years in prison for four counts of first-degree rape, and also 10 years for two counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree. The 10 years will be served separately for each, meaning a 20-year sentence.

Quiros also will have at least 10 years of post-release supervision.

He also was sentenced for misdemeanors today. Those sentences, all a year or less in the county jail, will be served concurrently or the same time with the state prison sentence.

The misdemeanors include two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, one count of third-degree assault, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana.

Quiros intends to appeal the jury’s decision, his attorney Scott Riordan told Judge Sheldon today. Because of the impending appeal, Riordan advised Quiros not to speak during sentencing today.

Quiros in July was found guilty after he allegedly held a woman against her will for several weeks, while physically and sexually assaulting her.

On Aug. 7 he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors after he allegedly barged into a home on Root Road in Barre and tried to drag his girlfriend out of the house by her feet. He was stopped by her brother, who made Quiros leave at gunpoint.

The judge issued several orders of protection today.

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Albion man admits to selling cocaine, could get 4 years in prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 September 2018 at 11:43 am

ALBION – An Albion man admitted in Orleans County Court on Thursday to selling cocaine in the county in January.

Jason Abron, 44, of Lydun Drive pleaded guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. As part of a plea agreement, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 4 years in state prison on Dec. 20.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said Abron was arrested on March 9 after a series of controlled buys through the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.

In other cases in County Court on Thursday:

Jason P. Muck, 40, of Lyndonville pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated and could face up to a year in jail when he is sentenced on Nov. 29.

He was charged after being stopped on March 30 by State Police on Route 63 in the Town of Yates. He registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.17 percent, about twice the legal limit.

• A Wyoming County man admitted to accepting about $8,000 for two construction jobs in Orleans County without doing the work.

Dean Smith Jr. pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the fourth degree and will be sentenced on Dec. 20. He could face jail time and probation as part of a plea agreement.

Jenna Zagara of Lockport admitted to using someone else’s credit card without approval to pay bills. She allegedly racked up $1,905 in unauthorized spending. She has already paid restitution.

She pleaded guilty to petit larceny. As part of a plea deal, she won’t face time in jail when she is sentenced on Dec. 20.

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Man who fired gun inside Medina bar sentenced to 4 years in prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 September 2018 at 5:40 pm

ALBION – A Buffalo man who fired a gun inside O’Brien’s Tavern in Medina on Dec. 10, 2017 was sentenced to 4 years in state prison today.

Patrick Casanova, 24, has three other charges for possession of a weapon as part of nine arrests in the past two years, District Attorney Joe Cardone told County Court Judge Sanford Church at sentencing this morning.

“This defendant for years has been involved in numerous incidents involving firearms and menacing individuals,” Cardone said. “This is an individual who clearly belongs in prison.”

Casanova is represented by Public Defender Joanne Best. She said the three other weapons charges were dismissed.

The charge in Orleans County, criminal possession of weapon in the second degree, is his first felony conviction as an adult, Best said.

She said Casanova didn’t have any intent to hurt someone when the gun was fired at O’Briens. She said Casanova is bipolar with emotional instability issues. His mother was murdered while he was incarcerated as a youthful offender, Best said.

“He is not denying he has some very serious issues he has to resolve,” she said.

Casanova apologized for the crime and acknowledged, “I know my record is not good.”

Best asked the judge for a 2-year sentence which was the minimum as part of a plea deal. The maximum was 7 years in prison.

Judge Church decided to give Casanova 4 years in prison. That sentence will also satisfy the sentence for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Casanova faced a year in jail for that charge.

The judge urged Casanova to take full responsibility for his conduct, and work towards a law-abiding life.

“You’re young enough where it’s not too late to turn things around,” Church said.

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Albion teen arraigned in County Court after assault on grandmother

Staff Reports Posted 13 September 2018 at 2:40 pm

Brandon Foster

ALBION – An Albion teen-ager who is accused of nearly killing his grandmother during a late-night attack on July 8 was arraigned in Orleans County Court today.

Brandon Foster, 17, was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault, first-degree burglary, and two counts each of second-degree burglary and petit larceny. He is represented by Joanne Best, the public defender, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Foster on July 8 allegedly went to home of his grandmother, Rachael Spearance, located just outside the Village of Albion. Foster entered the residence just after midnight. He allegedly climbed on a chair and forced a rear window open. Upon climbing through a window, Foster proceeded to the bedroom and began attacking his grandmother with a knife as she slept in bed, Undersheriff Chris Bourke said on July 9.

Spearance began fighting back. Foster then placed her in a choke hold. Spearance was able to get away from Foster’s grasp and confront him about what he was doing. Foster then stole $23 cash and the victim’s cell phone and climbed out a different window and fled the scene, Bourke said.

Spearance, while bleeding profusely, was able to leave the residence and drive to Medina Memorial Hospital. Spearance was then transported to the Erie County Medical Center by Mercy Flight. Because she is recovering from her injuries, Foster no longer is facing the initial attempted murder charge.

Best, his attorney, said Foster has no prior criminal record.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said Foster was “essentially homeless” at the time of the incident. The DA asked that bail remain at $50,000 cash and $100,000 bond. Foster is currently an inmate in the Orleans County Jail.

“These are very serious charges with serious injuries with a dangerous instrument,” Cardone said.

Best responded that Foster has a place to stay available with a local family. She asked that bail be reduced.

Judge Sanford Church set bail at $25,000 cash and $50,000 bond. He also ordered a psychological and psychiatric evaluation for Foster. The judge also approved an order of protection for Foster’s grandmother.

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Rochester man sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for selling cocaine in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 September 2018 at 5:11 pm

ALBION – A Rochester man who admitted to selling cocaine in Albion on Aug. 30, 2017, was sentenced to 3 ½ years in state prison.

Jahquan E. Coleman, 26, faced up to 4 years in prison as part of a plea deal for attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Judge Charles Zambito gave Coleman a break from the maximum sentence with 3 ½ years in prison, plus 3 years of post-release supervision. Because Coleman is a second-felony offender, the judge said he had to give Coleman at least 3 ½ years in prison.

Coleman has been in a drug treatment program while in the county jail.

“I would like to apologize today to the Town of Albion for the crimes I committed, for bringing drugs into the community,” Coleman said during sentencing this morning in County Court. “I know what I did was a terrible mistake.”

Coleman’s previous felony was for second-degree assault in Monroe County. He was convicted in April 2013.

“I feel you’re being sincere,” Zambito told Coleman. “You have a prior criminal history but it doesn’t involve drug sales.”

However, the judge said incarceration is warranted for the drug crime.

“It’s a serious problem and it affects a lot of people,” Zambito said.

In other cases:

• A Medina man was sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation for setting his neighbor’s garage on fire.

Demetri Gordon, 24, faced arson, criminal mischief and burglary charges for the incident on Aug. 9, 2017 on South Main St.

“I apologize for everything I’ve done,” Gordon said in court today.

The fire was contained to the garage, which was attached to a house. Judge Zambito said the fire could have spread and caused more damage, even death.

“I agree with the district attorney that this is very serious and potentially life-threatening,” Zambito said.

There will be a hearing Oct. 18 to determine how much restitution Gordon needs to pay for the fire.

Todd Brown, 30, of Brockport pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. He said he tried to sell cocaine in Orleans County on March 7, 2017.

As part of a plea deal, he faces up to 3 years in state prison and 2 years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced on Nov. 15. He also has to pay $930 restitution to the Orleans County Major Felony Crimes Task Force.

Breanna Eaton, 25, of Medina was terminated from a diversion program. If she had stayed drug-free and followed the rules of the program, a felony charge would have been dismissed and she would have been sentenced to a misdemeanor with no jail.

She will now be sentenced for fourth-degree grand larceny, which has a maximum of 1 to 3 years in state prison.

“She has tried her best,” her attorney Nathan Pace told the judge.

She will be sentenced Dec. 13.

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Albion man charged with criminally negligent homicide after wife’s fatal overdose

Staff Reports Posted 4 September 2018 at 4:24 pm

Kevin J. McMullen

ALBION – The Albion Police Department on Monday arrested Kevin J. McMullen, 32, for criminally negligent homicide following a nine-month investigation after his wife, Megan McMullen, died of a fatal overdose on Dec. 18, 2017.

Mr. McMullen was arrested at his residence, 12394 West Lee Road, in the Town of Albion. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Albion Police in taking McMullen into custody.

The arrest follows a joint investigation by the Albion Police Department, Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, Orleans County District Attorney’s Office and the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Megan McMullen, 33, died on Dec. 18 at 346 West State St. in the Village of Albion as a result of an overdose of the opiate fentanyl, Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said.

The investigation revealed that Kevin McMullen transported Megan to the City of Rochester where he provided fentanyl to her. Megan subsequently overdosed on the fentanyl causing her to go into respiratory arrest, Nenni said.

Kevin McMullen performed rescue breaths on Megan until she began breathing. Kevin McMullen then transported his wife back to their residence at 346 West State St., where she again overdosed on the fentanyl that Kevin had given her, the police chief said.

After the second overdose, Megan went into cardiac arrest with her husband administering CPR. Kevin McMullen, instead of calling 911 to get medical assistance for Megan, then injected the fentanyl into himself, Nenni said.

Kevin McMullen didn’t call 911 until several hours later. When the Albion Police and ambulance staff arrived, Megan McMullen was found to be deceased and beyond the time frame of lifesaving medical intervention, the police chief said.

Kevin McMullen is charged with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly providing the lethal fentanyl and for failing to get her medical assistance which could have saved Megan’s life. He also is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell because he allegedly provided Megan with the lethal fentanyl, Nenni said.

McMullen was arraigned in the Town of Albion Court and placed in the Orleans County Jail on $50,000 bail. He is to return to court on Sept. 7.

As a result of this investigation by the Albion Police and Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, several dealers of the lethal opiates, fentanyl and heroin, were identified in the City of Rochester.

“These dealers were supplying Orleans County and responsible for several overdoses and possibly other overdose related deaths,” Nenni said. “Several arrests have been made and quantities of the deadly opiates taken off the streets.”

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