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Massena man jailed on felony criminal contempt count

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CRIMINAL CONTEMPT - MASSENA - Village police charged Joseph R. McMahon, 21, of 29 Elm St., Massena, with a felony count of first-degree criminal contempt, criminal obstruction of breathing, fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment Monday afternoon.

He was arraigned by Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond.

McMahon allegedly violated an order of protection issued in June by Mr. Crandall when he shoved Barbara Marshall on a bed at her Park Avenue residence at 2:15 p.m. Monday, choked her and covered her mouth and throat during a domestic dispute.

He was reportedly upset because Marshall only gave him a quick kiss when he asked for a kiss while she was making a pizza.

Ms. Marshall, in her statement to police, said McMahon responded by accusing her of not paying enought attention to him and started calling him names. She said she responded by screaming at him to get his belongings and leave her apartment.

She said the tension escalated after McMahon went in the living room, grabbed her cell phone and threw a television on the floor.

She said McMahon shoved her onto the bed when she was attempting to get her phone back from him and noted he had choked her during the argument. She said she was eventually able to get free but McMahon initially prevented her from leaving the residence.

Ms. Marshall said McMahon eventually left her apartment.

Massena-based state police had previously charged McMahon with criminal obstruction of breathing, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, fourth-degree criminal mischief and unlawful possession of marijuana following a Jan. 15, 2012 domestic dispute at his residence.

He was later sentenced to probation for three years after pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment in a plea bargain agreement.

Ms. Marshall, in a statement she provided police at that time, said her boyfriend had been drinking before she arrived home at approximately 7 p.m. that night and started arguing with her while they were eating dinner. .

Troopers allege the argument turned physical when Ms. Marshall told McMahon to leave the residence. He allegedly grabbed her by the throat and sweatshirt and threw her onto the couch. He then reportedly grabbed a ceramic plate and threw it at the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, with the plate missing the child and striking a window.

Troopers said McMahon also blocked the door and told Ms. Marshall she couldn’t leave the residence with the child when she was attempting to exit their home. He also reportedly prevented her from gaining access to a telephone so she could contact police about the domestic dispute.

Ms. Marshall told police she was eventually able to leave the residence when McMahon walked into a back bedroom in the home. “Joe threw the kitchen chair into the TV, breaking it. The TV belongs to his mother,” Ms. Marshall said in her statement.

The court signed a three-year order of protection directing McMahon not to harass, annoy or alarm Ms. Marshall and her daughter. The court also specifically directed McMahon to refrain from anger, aggression, drug use and intoxication in the presence of his girlfriend and the child.

McMahon had admitted last month he had violated the terms of his probationary sentence and had been sentenced to begin serving a 90-day sentence on Jan. 4.

Mr. Crandall had granted St. Lawrence County Conflict Public Defender Amy Dona’s request to have her client start serving his jail sentence after the holidays so he could spend them with his two children.

Mr. Crandall had ordered McMahon,to report to the county jail at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 4.

“It seems to be a reasonable request to want to be with your children on Christmas. I’ll take a chance on you,” the town justice told McMahon during that December court appearance.

McMahon failed to appear as directed to begin serving that jail sentence.

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