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Judge dismisses indictment against Norfolk man

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CANTON — A Canton judge dismissed an indictment against a Norfolk man accused of stealing $300 from the Super 8 Motel in Massena in April 2011.

Matthew J. McGrath, 27, of 6 North Main St., was indicted in February on a third-degree burglary charge.

In his five-page order dated April 10, Judge Jerome J. Richards dismissed the indictment because much of the testimony by Mr. McGrath’s accomplice, Chad Wickwire, was not properly corroborated before the grand jury.

Mr. Wickwire was working for Super 8 the night of the theft and did not report the money missing at the end of his shift. It was a scheme the two had put together weeks before the theft, according to court documents.

Mr. Wickwire has since pleaded down to misdemeanor petit larceny for his role in the theft.

Video surveillance from the motel helped police to identify Mr. McGrath as their suspect, documents said.

In the presentment to the grand jury prosecutors, allowed a police officer to read a signed statement by Billy Goodreau that pointed to McGrath as the guilty party.

According to the documents, Mr. McGrath told Mr. Goodreau that he had just stolen money from the motel.

Judge Richards wrote that Mr. Goodreau must give this information to the grand jury in live testimony and not through a police officer.

McGrath was charged with stealing $291 from Super 8 at 12:53 a.m. April 25, 2011.

Mr. Goodreau, in a statement he provided police, said McGrath had visited him at his mother’s house at approximately 11 p.m. April and asked to borrow his cell phone. He said McGrath returned the cell phone approximately three and a half hours later.

“He told me what he had just done. At that time, Matt took out a large amount of cash, consisting of $20s, $10s, $5s, $1s and some change rolls,” Mr. Goodreau told police.

He said Mr. McGrath admitted he had stolen the money from the Super 8 and told him he took the money after having his roommate leave the office to conduct his nightly rounds.

“While he was away, Matt told me ran into the motel, jumped over the counter and took all the money behind the counter. He said he was in and out of there in seconds,” Mr. Goodreau added.

He noted the trio had discussed stealing money from Super 8 approximately three weeks before the incident. “I thought it was more of a joke than anything. I wasn’t actually serious about it and would have never done it,” he said.

Mr. Goodreau said he flipped out because the two men had used his cell phone during the commission of the crime.

“I flipped out on him (McGrath) because he put me in this position,” he recalled.

Mr. Goodreau also told police he had contacted Mr. Wickwire later that day after village police tried to contact him during their investigation into the Super 8 burglary.

“I told him that I was not going to get pinned for their stupidity,” he said in his statement

The judge’s ruling said prosecutors may present the case to a different grand jury.

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