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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena man has sentencing for resisting arrest postponed


MASSENA - A 30-year-old Massena man whose effort to hide from state troopers was thwarted by the honesty of his 3-year-old child had his sentencing for a resisting arrest conviction postponed until August.

John A. Colby of 12 Stearns St. had pleaded guilty to resisting arrest in a plea bargain agreement that also satisfied an obstruction of governmental administration charge stemming from the same incident. He was not represented by an attorney when he entered the plea.

But he was represented by defense attorney David Haggard when he appeared for sentencing. Mr. Haggard noted it appeared the court had questioned Colby’s decision to enter the plea without representation and appeared to be moving toward asking the court to vacate the guilty plea.

But after Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson said that conversation had taken place before Colby entered his plea Mr. Haggard asked the court to delay sentencing so he could conference other charges pending against his client with prosecutors and attempted to work out a global plea and sentencing agreement, acknowledging that might result in his client serving county jail time.

State police went to Colby’s residence attempting to pick him up on bench warrants for third-degree bail jumping, second-degree obstruction of government administration and resisting arrest counts shortly after 7 a.m. Jan. 22. Troopers said the warrants came from Stockholm Town Court and Norfolk Town Court.

Troopers said they had knocked on the door for approximately 10 minutes when they first went to the residence but received no response. Troopers left the home, but one trooper said he only went a short distance and continued to watch the residence. He said a short time later Colby’s live in girlfriend, Jessica L. Smith, 27, also of 12 Stearns St., returned home.

Smith answered the door for troopers but rejected suggestions that Colby was at the residence. But they said the pre-schooler confirmed she had been in the home when police were knocking on the door and that Colby was inside the home.

“He’s scared. He’s hiding in the attic,” she noted.

Troopers said Colby was located crouching in the back of the attic and refused orders from state police to surrender. Police said Colby then came out with one hand behind his back and one hand visible. They said they tackled Colby, and he refused to roll over or put his hands behind his back so he could be handcuffed.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Mackenzie Dimick, 19, of Massena was granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with a stipulation she perform 20 hours of community service and abide by the terms of a no harassment order of protection .

She had been charged with second-degree harassment following an incident on Feb. 17 when she allegedly punched her then estranged husband, Phillip, several times during an attempted property retrieval at the marital residence.

Police were at the residence for the property retrieval and said they had warned Ms. Dimick the issue would need to be resolved in Family Court if there was any disagreement when she attempted to pick up a mini-bike.

But they said when Mr. Dimick denied her access to the garage she lunged at him and punched him several times in the upper body.

■ Donald A. Fifield, 24, of 6258 Route 11, Lot 9, Canton, was returned to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, where he is being held on a parole violation. He has first-degree menacing, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and trespassing charges pending in village court.

Fifield told the court he expects to be sent back to prison following his parole violation hearing. The court adjourned Fifield’s case for one week so he could be represented by an attorney for his court appearance.

Fifield had been sentenced to one to three years in state prison in 2009, but the majority if his sentence was served under parole supervision after he entered the 120-day Willard substance abuse treatment program. The maximum expiration date of that sentence is Nov. 2.

The latest charges allege Fifield threatened Craig Tassie during a neighborhood dispute on May 27.

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