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Jailed Ogdensburg man says co-defendant is innocent


An Ogdensburg man set to stand trial Oct. 16 in St. Lawrence County Court for his alleged role in a March 2011 convenience store robbery is innocent, according to a jailed co-defendant.

Travis M. Howe, 26, of 7035 Route 37, Ogdensburg, was arrested in January on a St. Lawrence County grand jury’s sealed indictment for first-degree robbery and fourth-degree grand larceny. He was accused of involvement in the March 5 gunpoint robbery of the Twin Bridges Convenient Mart and Deli, 40 Main St., Ogdensburg,

The other suspect, Michael J. Wells, 26, of Ogdensburg, was later arrested, convicted and sentenced to state prison for 12 years.

Ogdensburg police said that Mr. Howe was the lookout man and that Mr. Wells was the actual robber who appeared inside the store wearing a plastic Halloween mask and brandishing what appeared to be a black semi-automatic pistol. Police have said both men fled the scene on foot and Mr. Wells got away with $340 in cash. The gun was never recovered.

But in March 27 and April 15 letters that he wrote and were published, respectively, in The Journal and Advance-News, Mr. Wells insisted that Mr. Howe was innocent. Mr. Wells said he lied to a St. Lawrence County grand jury about Mr. Howe’s involvement.

“Travis was not involved in that robbery and had no knowledge of it or any knowledge of where the money I had that night had come from,” he wrote in The Journal.

In the Advance-News, Mr. Wells criticized District Attorney Nicole M. Duve’.

“I’ve written to Duve’ personally explaining that I lied about Travis’s involvement with the Twin Bridges robbery and explained how he wasn’t involved and knew nothing of the crime,” he stated. “She has still kept Travis locked up.”

Mr. Howe was released on bond in April, but is currently back in the county jail on an unrelated larceny charge.

Mr. Wells said he implicated Mr. Howe in the robbery “to frame him” for telling lies about him after he was arrested.

Mr. Howe’s attorney, Marcia L. LeMay of Canton, and Ms. Duve, are giving nothing away until the trial starts.

“I can’t comment on pending cases,” Ms. LeMay said.

“I cannot comment on the case,” the district attorney said. “Our evidence will speak for itself at the trial.”

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