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Thu., Oct. 8
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Bat-yielding Brasher Falls man scores probation


CANTON - A 19-year-old Brasher Falls man who admitted bringing a baseball bat to the Tri-Town IGA grocery store and demanding money was sentenced Wednesday in St. Lawrence County Court to five years probation.

Michael G. Prior III of 872 Route 11C, also received a harsh warning from County Court Jerome J. Richards and was ordered to pay $325 in fines and surcharges.

“The only time you need a baseball bat is when you’re playing baseball,” the judge said. “If you break the rules, you could get sent to state prison for four years. I’m not fooling around here.”

Mr. Prior pleaded guilty Aug. 13 to first-degree attempted robbery and was granted youthful offender status. He admitted walking into the Tri-Town IGA store, 904 Route 11 C and demanding money.

He told the judge he has learned to stay on his medications and does not plan to get into trouble again.

“I learned to take them on time, and I learned to take them regularly,” Mr. Prior said, referring to his medication.

Judge Richards repeatedly asked Mr. Prior if he understood everything that was being told to him and gave him a stern final warning.

“If you come in here acting like a gangster, I’m going to treat you like a gangster,” he said.

Mr. Prior is also prohibited from drinking alcohol or using any non-prescribed drugs, including marijuana.

In other court action: ■ Steven P. Baildon, 32, of 452 County Route 46, Massena, waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury and pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted burglary, a Class D violent felony.

He admitted breaking into the home of David and Joann Hurlbut, town of Louisville, sometime between Nov. 1 and Dec. 2, 2011. Mr. Baildon told the judge he entered the locked house and stole jewelry and a small-gauge shotgun.

As a second felony offender, Mr. Baildon is expected to receive 6 1/2 years in state prison when he returns for sentencing Dec. 19. He was sent back to the county jail.

■ Three Canton men accused of operaating a methamphetamine lab inside their residence at North Country Freedom Homes, 25 Dies St., all pleaded not guilty. They include Mark R. Amo, 28, Hunter J. Casey, 31, and Andrew M. Larche, 25. They each face third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.

■ Murphy Phillips, Syracuse, was sentenced to five years probation for his conviction of second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a Class C felony. He also had his driver’s license revoked and was ordered to pay $375 a month in fees and surcharges.

■ Judge Richards scolded Assistant District Attorney Jonathon L. Becker for not providing specific information about the charges facing Michael F. Lewis, 33, of 65 Austin St., Gouverneur. Mr. Lewis is being held in county jail, but has been serving a state prison sentence for his vehicular manslaughter conviction.

“It borders on incompetence. That’s what it is, incompetence,” Judge Richards said.

Mr. Becker countered that Mr. Lewis is fully aware of the charges against him. Mr. Lewis was in court for a status hearing which was postponed until Nov. 13 to give Mr. Becker more time to produce the information.

■ Duaine A. Mashaw, 32, of 69 McIntyre Road, Ogdensburg, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to a superior court information charging him with driving a Jeep while intoxicated Aug. 1 on Route 131, town of Massena.

He admitted having a 0.15 percent blood alcohol level, surpassing the 0.08 percent state limit. He was previously convicted of misdeanor DWI in May 2009. He was sent back to the county jail and sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 4.

■ Herbert C. Bell, 31, Antwerp, was placed on one-year interim probation after pleading guilty to felony DWI with his sentencing adjourned to Oct. 28, 2013. He pleaded guilty to the charge Aug. 21. His probation supervision was transferred to Jefferson County.

■ James J. Love, 27, of 60 Liberty Ave., Apt. E, Massena, pleaded not guilty to selling oxycodone. His indictment charges him with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

■ Curtis B. Debien, 18, of 12526 Route 37, pleaded not guilty to first-degree criminal contempt. He’s accused of making more than 40 harassing phone calls to Darlina DiShaw in violation of an order of protection issued Aug. 7.

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