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Medina man pleads guilty to drug charge just before trial

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2018 at 10:14 am

ALBION – A Medina man pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge just before he was to go on trial.

Collen Poole could face up to 3 years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 7 for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree.

He pleaded guilty on Nov. 29. He was to go on trial on Dec. 3.

He was charged on March 1 after police and state parole officers found cocaine, marijuana and pills identified as Hydrocodone and Ecstasy, following a search of his residence.

Law enforcement officers also located are a large sum of money in high denominational bills, as well as three counterfeit $100 bills.

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Medina man arraigned on criminally negligent homicide for fatal accident in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 December 2018 at 8:32 pm

ALBION – A Medina man was arraigned in Orleans County Court this morning for criminally negligent homicide.

Kevin Lupiani, 40, allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign on July 24. He was driving a 1994 Ford flatbed truck at 10:30 p.m. that day when he allegedly caused the accident that resulted in the death of Matthew Gardner, 25, of Hamlin.

Lupiani pleaded not guilty to the charge, an E felony which carries a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

In other arraignments before Judge Sanford Church this morning:

• An Albion man who allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s residence was arraigned on several charges for crimes on Oct. 24-26.

Brian Beach, 47, was to stay away from the woman, who had an order of protection against Beach.

Albion police sent their K-9 to the residence and Beach allegedly tried to punch the dog.

Beach is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, three counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, third-degree assault and petit larceny.

There will be a bail hearing on Tuesday morning, when the judge will also hear an argument from Beach’s attorney, Brian Degnan, that some of the charges should be dismissed because Beach already pleaded guilty in the Town Court and the latest charges represent “double jeopardy.”

Church set bail at $20,000 until Tuesday, when he said he would consider changing the amount. The judge also continued the order of protection for Beach’s ex-girlfriend.

Andrew Walch, 33, of Holley was arraigned on two counts of driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and unlawful possession of marijuana.

He was charged on Sept. 21 when he was allegedly driving after using alcohol, cocaine and marijuana. He registered a Blood Alcohol Content of .10 percent.

The judge set bail at $2,500.

Robin Miller, an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility, was arraigned for aggravated harassment of an employee for allegedly throwing urine at a corrections officer. The E felony has a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

The judge set bail for Miller at $20,000. She isn’t scheduled to be released until 2020.

Angela Fields of Syracuse was arraigned for promoting prison contraband in the first degree and second degree for allegedly bringing Suboxone and other pills to the Albion Correctional Facility. She also was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

Judge Church set bail at $20,000 for Miller, who has a previous felony and failure to appear in court.

Najah Fields, an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility, was arraigned for promoting prison contraband in the first and second degree. She allegedly had Angela Fields bring the Suboxone and pills to the prison.

Najah Fields is due to be released on Dec. 28. The judge set bail at $20,000.

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Rochester man gets 5 years in prison for selling fentanyl

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 December 2018 at 2:51 pm

ALBION – A Rochester man was sentenced to five years in state prison today for his role in selling an extremely lethal fentanyl that resulted many overdoses in Orleans County.

Giovanni M. Serrano, 19, previously pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. As part of a plea agreement, he faced a maximum of six years in prison.

Serrano apologized for selling the drug.

“I’m sorry for my actions,” he told Sanford Church, the County Court judge. “I have a bad drug problem and I was trying to support my habit.”

Serrano also needs to pay $1,400 in restitution to the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, as well as a $300 court surcharge, $25 crime victims fee and $50 DNA sampling fee.

He also will be on post-release supervision for two years.

A codefendant in the case was given a youthful offender adjudication and his record will be sealed. The man, who just turned 19, was sentenced to 1 ½ years in state prison, plus a one of post-release supervision.

That person, whose name shouldn’t be publicized for being a youthful offender, admitted he had been selling drugs for two years. He didn’t know he had sold fentanyl. He said he thought it was heroin.

His attorney, Joseph Damelio, said the young man was influenced by older people close to him that were selling drugs.

“He was a product of what was going on around him,” Damelio told the judge.

The defendant has already served seven months in the county jail. He recently passed his GED and “has a willingness to change.”

In other sentencings in court today:

• An Albion man was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for driving while intoxicated. He was charged on July 26 in the Village of Albion with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.19 percent after getting into an accident with another vehicle.

Jason Perry, 36, has prior DWIs in 2014 and 2015, as well as driving while ability impaired in 2010.

“He has certainly at this point graduated himself to state prison,” said Joe Cardone, the Orleans County district attorney.

He said Perry has arrests in Washington state and Pennsylvania.

Joanne Best, the public defender, said Perry is very remorseful. She asked for weekends in jail and probation for Perry so he could continue working.

He was also fined $1,000, and must pay a $250 assessment annually for three years, do 60 days of community service, pay a $300 court surcharge, $195 DWI surcharge and $25 crime victims fee.

• An inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison after pleading guilty to attempted prison contraband in the first degree. Shannon Wilson had her husband bring a controlled substance to the prison on May 5.

Ridge A. Forrest, 27, of Harford in Cortland County was sentenced to five years of probation for trying to bring Suboxone into the Albion Correctional Facility in March 5.

He pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the fifth degree, a charge that carries a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Forrest brought the suboxone to the prison after his wife complained she needed the painkiller. Forrest isn’t allowed to visit her for two years, the Department of Corrections said.

Judge Church allowed Forrest to avoid jail so he could keep his job and continue supporting his son and also Forrest’s mother.

Forrest also needs to perform 40 hours of community service, and $375 for a court surcharge, crime victims fee and DNA fee.

Jazmond Brady, 29, of Albion was sentenced to five years of probation for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. He was charged in May for allegedly selling crack cocaine in Orleans County.

He already served four months in the county jail.

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Albion man pleads guilty to second-degree rape against girl, 12

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 November 2018 at 3:38 pm

ALBION – An Albion man pleaded guilty to second-degree rape in Orleans County Court this afternoon and faces up to 4 years in state prison.

Christopher Pressley, 35, admitted to having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl last December. Pressley was 34 at the time.

He was asked by Sanford Church, the county court judge, if Pressley knew how old the girl was.

“I thought she was 13 or 14,” Pressley responded.

He is a second felony offender with a previous assault conviction. He could have faced a maximum of 3 to 7 years in state prison. As part of the plea agreement, he will face a maximum of 4 years in prison, as well as five years of post-release supervision.

He also will be a registered sex offender.

Pressley also could be fined up to $5,000 and pay $325 in other court charges, as well as a $50 DNA fee.

In other cases this afternoon:

Jason P. Muck, 41, of Medina was sentenced to four months of weekends in the Orleans County Jail plus five years of probation for felony driving while intoxicated.

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

Muck also was fined $1,000, and must pay a $300 court surcharge, $25 crime victim fee and $50 DNA fee. He also will need to use a interlock ignition device, which measures his BAC, when he resumes driving.

Stacey Sheppard of Monroe County was sentenced to five years of probation for promoting prison contraband by bringing suboxone to the Albion Correctional Facility. She also needs to do 40 hours of community service and pay the $300 court surcharge, $25 crime victim fee and $50 DNA fee.

Judge Church said the trial is on in the case against Collen Poole of Medina. Poole was in court today with his attorney, Robert Fogg.

Poole has 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.

The trial begins with jury selection at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

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2 plead guilty, 1 sentenced in County Court

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2018 at 9:36 am

ALBION – Two people pleaded guilty in County Court on Monday and could face incarceration, while an Albion woman was sentenced for drug possession.

Rebekah Champlin, 22, of Albion was sentenced for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

She and a codefendant, Collen Poole, were charged on March 1 by the Medina Police Department. Champlin doesn’t have a prior criminal record. She wasn’t selling drugs, her attorney Robert Viola told County Court Judge Sanford Church.

Champlin said she had cocaine when police and a parole officer did a search of Poole’s residence on Pearl Street in Medina.

Champlin was sentenced to jail for two days a week over the next four months. She also will be on probation for five years.

There also was a hearing on Monday in Poole’s case. His attorney, Robert Fogg, argued in court that police did not have a proper search warrant for Poole’s residence. Police were asked to help secure the property and do a search by a state parole officer.

Judge Church will issue a ruling at a later date about the legality of the search.

Poole was charged on March 1 after police and parole officers found cocaine, marijuana and pills identified as Hydrocodone and Ecstasy, as well as a large sum of money in high denominational bills, and three counterfeit $100 bills.

Poole has rejected a plea offer to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, with a cap of five years in state prison.

In other cases on Monday:

• A Lyndonville man pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated. Kenneth Lonnen, 44, faces a maximum of 1 to 3 years in state prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 14.

Lonnen was arrested on Aug. 2 in Yates and registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.24 percent, which is three times the legal limit.

Lonnen said he had two beers and two shots at a Lyndonville bar.

“What I consumed was too fast,” he told Sanford Church, the County Court judge.

Lonnen has a previous DWI conviction within five years – Feb. 6, 2014.

Maijia Scott, an inmate at the women’s prison, pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree, with a cap of 1 1/2 to 3 years in state prison.

Scott is an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility. She is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder from 2000.

She said she had a codefendant in her case, Edwin King, send her suboxone. She will be sentenced on Feb. 14.

King, 58, of the Bronx also appeared in court. He told the judge he has retained a lawyer and no longer wants to be represented by the public defender. Judge Church adjourned King’s case until Thursday at 2 p.m.

King faces charges of promoting prison contraband after he allegedly twice mailed suboxone to Scott.

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Husband admits to providing drugs in wife’s fatal overdose

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 November 2018 at 1:57 pm

ALBION – An Albion man admitted in Orleans County Court today to providing drugs in his wife’s fatal overdose on Dec. 18, 2017.

Kevin J. McMullen, 32, of West Lee Road pleaded guilty to attempted criminally neglect homicide and could face up to a year in the Orleans County Jail when he is sentenced on Feb. 7. The crime is a level A misdemeanor.

McMullen said in court that he took his wife, Megan, to Rochester on Dec. 18 to purchase what they believed was heroin. When they brought the drug, the seller warned them it was a strong drug.

It was actually fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is often added to heroin to make it more potent.

The two McMullens each injected the drug along a street on the way home. Mrs. McMullen overdosed in the vehicle and her husband was able to revive her with rescue breaths.

They made it home to Albion and injected the fentanyl again. Mrs. McMullen again overdosed and was revived by her husband.

The two took the drug again in their bedroom. Mr. McMullen fell asleep and woke up to find his wife was deceased and could not be revived.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said McMullen failed to get medical assistance for Megan and provided her with a drug despite the warning of its danger, especially after she overdosed the first time.

McMullen could have called for medical assistance without fear of arrest for an overdose because of the Good Samaritan Law, Cardone said in court.

“Were you involved in the activities that led to your wife’s death?” County Court Judge Sanford Church asked McMullen in court.

“Yes, your honor,” he responded.

“Did it involved controlled substances?” Church asked.

“Yes, your honor,” McMullen responded.

“Were you around when she ingested controlled substances?” Church asked.

“Yes, your honor,” McMullen said.

The judge asked McMullen if he took out the drugs and made them available for his wife, even after observing the harmful effect the first two times.

“Yes, your honor,” he said.

McMullen was arrested on Sept. 3 following a nearly nine-month investigation by the Albion Police Department.

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Albion teen pleads guilty to burglary, admits stabbing grandmother

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 November 2018 at 12:59 pm

ALBION – An Albion teen-ager admitted in court today to breaking into his grandmother’s home during the night on July 8 and then stabbing his grandmother.

The 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and could face up to 4 years in state prison when he is sentenced on  Feb. 7.

As part of the plea agreement today, the 17-year-old will be granted youthful offender status which would seal his record and not make it available to the public. His name also shouldn’t be publicized by the media.

The 17-year-old admitted to entering his grandmother’s house through a window. He said he took money from her purse. He was in the kitchen when he heard her wake up. He then panicked and stabbed her with a knife at least twice, he told Orleans County Judge Sanford Church this morning.

The 17-year-old spoke in such a low voice this morning the judge had him come close to the bench so the official court reporter and judge could hear. The boy is represented by Public Defender Joanne Best.

The grandmother has recovered from her injuries. Her grandson won’t face the more serious charge for assault.

The 17-year-old said he was under the influence of alcohol that night. Orleans County Sheriff’s investigators said the 17-year-old stole $23 cash and the victim’s cell phone. He then climbed out a different window and fled the scene.

After a several hour search by law enforcement that night, the 17-year-old was found at 6 the following morning by the bushes at Burger King.

His grandmother, while bleeding profusely, was able to leave the residence and drive to Medina Memorial Hospital. She was then transported to the Erie County Medical Center by Mercy Flight.

The 17-year-old has no prior criminal record. He is currently in the Orleans County Jail on $25,000 cash bail.

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Judge sentences drunk driver to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 November 2018 at 3:46 pm

ALBION – A Rochester man was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison last week in Orleans County Court for felony driving while intoxicated.

Thomas M. McGill Jr., 47, of Rochester was charged with felony DWI in Clarendon on Jan. 15. It was his third arrest for felony DWI.

“I’ve struggled with this for a long time,” McGill told Judge Charles Zambito. “Unfortunately I relapsed. When I come off of it, my mind and mood changes.”

Joanne Best, the public defender, asked that McGill not be sentenced to state prison.

“Mr. McGill has been struggling for many years with alcohol addiction,” she told the judge.

Zambito said he has “an obligation to protect the community” and sentenced McGill to state prison. When McGill is released, he will have to use an inter-lock ignition device that checks his Blood Alcohol Content.

In other cases in court on Nov. 1:

• A Corfu man was sentenced to six months in the county jail and five years probation for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

Steven R. Kimmel, 47, was charged in December after being stopped in Albion and allegedly having cocaine packaged for sale in his vehicle.

Jocelyn M. Munn, 23, of Medina was sentenced to a year in the county jail for fourth-degree grand larceny. She allegedly stole jewelry worth more than $8,500.

She needs to pay $8,587 in restitution, plus a 5 percent surcharge for $9,016.

Munn apologized to the victim and to her family. She said she has been battling drug addiction.

She twice need Narcan to reverse a potentially fatal overdose. In jail, she has completed her GED, and is in an addiction treatment program through GCASA.

“It is clear she has a lot of potential and ability,” District Attorney Joe Cardone said in court.

Judge Zambito urged her to continue taking programs in jail and when she is released.

“The problem you have is a deadly one,” he said. “If you don’t address it you will die.”

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Albion man pleads guilty to sexual misconduct with 2 girls

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 November 2018 at 3:24 pm

ALBION – An Albion man who proclaimed his innocence in Orleans County Court about sexual crimes against two under-age girls pleaded guilty and could face up to two years in the Orleans County Jail.

Robert Tetrault, 37, was to be on trial last week on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child after he allegedly had sexual intercourse and committed another sex act against a child. He was indicted on May 3.

He pleaded guilty on Oct. 15 to two counts of sexual misconduct and faces up to a year for each charge, with a maximum of two years in jail. There are two victims in the case, said Susan Howard, the assistant district attorney.

Tetrault entered an Alford plea, which is a guilty plea without admitting to the criminal act.

He will be sentenced on Jan. 10.

He has been in the county jail since he was charged with bail set at $50,000 cash and $250,000 bond.

Tetrault has a lengthy criminal history and has served four state prison terms, most recently when he was convicted on charges of attempted second-degree assault and third-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in state prison in October 2013 after fighting someone with a knife on May 23, 2013. Tetrault caused a severe laceration across another’s person hand who tried to intervene in the fight. He was released from prison in May 2017.

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Woman admits to killing Lyndonville mother, gives insanity defense

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 November 2018 at 3:51 pm

Megan Dix

ROCHESTER – Holly Colino admitted in a Monroe County Court to murdering Megan Dix, a Lyndonville wife and mother who was having a lunch break on Aug. 25, 2017.

Colino admitted to all charges against her, including second-degree murder, in court on Monday, but she said she shouldn’t be held criminally responsible due to her mental health, according to a report from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

In admitting to the charges, Colino said a “mental disease or defect” was the true culprit in the crime.

Dix, 33, was sitting in a parked vehicle, on her lunch break in a Brockport park on South Avenue last summer. She worked at the Lowe’s in Brockport.

Colino shot Dix in the head. Colino was arrested three days later.

In court, she said she randomly chose someone to kill. Her attorney, Mark Foti, said she has little recollection of the crime.

Colino was ordered by the court to undergo a mental health examination. Two doctors independently determined she suffered from a psychotic mental disorder on Aug. 25, 2017, the day of the murder.

Colino is in treatment. Her case will now be handled by the Commissioner of Mental Health with a mental competency hearing to be scheduled. She is expected to spend the rest of her life in a psychiatric facility or hospital, according to the report from the Democrat and Chronicle.

Colino, 31, grew up in East Rochester. She had been living in Arizona. Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti said after her arrest the murder was a random act of violence. Dix did not nothing wrong to provoke the attack, the police chief said.

Dix is the youngest of eight siblings. She married her high school sweetheart, Chris. Their son CJ is now 9.

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