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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Lawrence faces year in jail if he accepts plea bargain offer


MASSENA - A Massena man will be sentenced to one year in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility if he accepts a plea bargain offer that would allow him to plead guilty to an assault count to satisfy several other charges.

St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Andrew T. Botts said the offer on the table calls for David A. Lawrence III, 23, of 13 Clark St., Apt. A., Massena, to plead guilty to a third-degree assault count with a sentencing commitment of one year in the county jail.

The case was adjourned until March 19 to give the St. Lawrence County Conflict Public Defender’s Office time to work with prosecutors to insure the plea satisfies other charges currently pending against Lawrence.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson sent Lawrence back to the county correctional facility with bail continued at $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond.

Village police had charged Lawrence with second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon at 3:44 a.m. Sept. 23 on Willow Street.

Lawrence allegedly stabbed Eugene E. Lamb, 45, of 303A Gates St., Palmer, Mass., on Willow Street. Mr. Lamb was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital by Massena Rescue for treatment of his injuries and was released.

The two men had reportedly been involved in a brief altercation earlier in the evening at The Rusty Wheel.

Mr. Lamb said he was sitting on the steps outside the bar about an hour later waiting for a ride. “I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. I saw a guy standing in the lawn across the road from where I was sitting,” he said, noting he yelled over at the man and asked if he could call for a cab for him.

He said the man, later identified as Lawrence, replied he remembered him from incident inside the bar and quickly walked across the street toward him.

“He had a screwdriver in his left hand and a knife in his right hand. He was swearing and yelling at me. He started trying to stab me. He swung and swung over again. I was running backwards down Willow Street towards (the) Parker Avenue Bridge,” he said, noting he called 911 to report the incident as it was occurring.

“I kept telling him to stop and that I was calling the police. When he was swinging, I dropped the phone. He stabbed me several times in the left arm and once in the back,” Mr. Lamb added in his statement to police.

The Massachusetts man said Lawrence had been standing behind the man he had briefly argued with inside the bar. He told police he feared for his life during the attack. “The guy continued to say, ‘I’m going to ... you up. He was relentless. I ... thought he was trying to kill me,” Mr. Lamb said.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Carl L. Crump, 38, of 48 Willow St., Apt. 1, Massena, was returned to the county jail with bail continued at $1,000 cash on driving while intoxicated and petit larceny counts. He is also held on a federal warrant.

Crump has a plea bargain offer that would allow him to satisfy the petit larceny count with a plea to the misdemeanor DWI charge. St. Lawrence County Assistant Conflict Public Defender Nicole A. Sabsasowitz asked for the adjournment to determine the impact that plea would have on Crump’s commercial driver’s license.

■ Terry D. Power, 21, of 1105 Knox St., Ogdensburg, had a petit larceny count dismissed after prosecutors told the court the charge had been satisfied by a global plea entered in Ogdensburg City Court. Power and a co-defendant had been charged with shoplifting $264.46 worth of merchandise on Oct. 21, 2011 from the Massena Wal-Mart.

Power was send back to the county jail, where he is being held on $500 bail from city court. He told the court he expected to be sentenced to time served when he returns to Ogdensburg City Court in two weeks. “I’ve been in jail since April,” he noted.

■ Joseph A. Belisle, 28, of 59 Maple St., Apt. 1A, Massena, was sent back to the county correctional facility with bail continued at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond on second-degree robbery, fifth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon charges.

His attorney, Mary Rain, asked the court to schedule a preliminary hearing, noting it had been her understanding that her client was going to be released from custody when she agreed to waive the initial prelim.

Village police had charged Belisle and James A. Berry, 21, of 48 East Hatfield St., Massena, with second-degree robbery and fifth-degree conspiracy following an incident that took place shortly before midnight Jan. 6 at Belile’s apartment.

The duo were charged with assaulting Christopher Delosh and then stealing items from him - one witness said the stolen items included some cash and a bag of heroin.

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