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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena man sentenced to 60 days in jail for machete threat


MASSENA - A 35-year-old Massena man was sentenced to 60 days in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility after he admitted he had threatened his girlfriend with a machete during a domestic dispute last month.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson also ordered Dale E. Ward of 72 Woodlawn Ave., Massena, to pay a $205 surcharge after he pleaded guilty to second-degree menacing. The court also signed an order of protection directing Ward to stay away from Jennifer Barron.

St. Lawrence County Conflict Public Defender Amy Dona had noted any incarceration would likely result in her client losing his unemployment benefits.

Ward said he was prepared to serve his sentence. “I’m just sorry this had to happen. I just want to do my time and get it over with,” he told the court.

Mr. Gustafson, speaking prior to Ward entering his guilty plea, had said the Massena man would be facing jail time if he entered the guilty plea offered a guilty plea to the menacing count in the plea bargain offered by the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office.

“I’m torn with what to do with you, Mr. Ward. I’ve got an absolutely atrocious criminal history sitting here in front of me and there are allegations of violence in this incident. It would be hard for me to just release Mr. Ward back into the community based on what is alleged,” Mr. Gustafson had said, noting he would consider a jail sentence in the 60 to 90 day range.

Village police had charged Ward, with second-degree menacing, second-degree aggravated harassment, second-degree harassment and second-degree criminal impersonation afternoon following an investigation into an incident that reportedly took place on Dec. 28.

Court documents indicated Ward had threatened to cut Ms. Barron’s head off, cut her fingers off and burn her house down in recent days.

Ms. Barron was visiting Ward at his residence on Dec. 28 when he hit her in the head, shoved her on a bed and briefly prohibited her from leaving a bedroom. He also reportedly grabbed a machete from the wall and started swinging it at her with the blade coming close to her legs.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Torrey R. Jackson, 26, of 62 Fayette Road, Massena, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Village police had charged Jackson with driving while intoxicated and a felony count of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle following a traffic stop at 2:12 a.m. Jan. 5 on Highland Park. Jackson reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 percent.

He was also ticketed for failure to stop at a stop sign, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and false impersonation. Police said he identified himself as Rocky Jackson in an effort to prevent police from learning he was on parole and had several suspensions on his operating privileges.

■ Todd J. Beamis, 37, of 133 North Main St., Massena, was granted a six-month adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with a stipulation he perform 15 hours of community service.

Beamis had been charged with unlawful possession of marijuana on Nov. 20 when he was found in possession of a Zip Lock baggie containing green leafy vegetation that tested positive for marijuana.

Police said they had stopped to talk to Beamis after they witnesses what they said was an apparently highly intoxicated male fall off the sidewalk into the roadway. They allegedly when they stopped to talk to Beamis he initially took off running, dropping the bag of marijuana on the ground.

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