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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena man sentenced to time served in jail for lying about identity

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MASSENA - A Norfolk man found hiding under a mattress and who gave police a false name when troopers were searching a Massena home for a person wanted on a warrant has been sentenced to the 17 days he spent at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility following his arrest.

Massena-based state police had charged Derek C. Sessions, 23, of 15 Remington Ave., Norfolk, with false personation Jan. 18. He pleaded guilty to a reduced count this week in Massena Town Court.

Troopers said while they were searching for someone else on a warrant at 2224 Route 420 at 10:45 a.m. that Saturday morning they found Sessions hiding under a mattress. They said the man located under the mattress, later identified as Sessions, initially identified himself as Barry K. Hill, 23.

Troopers said Hill was wanted on a warrant from Franklin County so they took him into custody. Troopers said Sessions then admitted his actual identity and said he had tried to hide his identity in an effort to avoid being picked up on a warrant out for his arrest.

Troopers said there were bench warrants for his arrest from Norfolk Town Court and Massena Village Court. A warrant signed July 29 by Norfolk Town Justice George Grubee alleged Sessions had failed to pay $1,050 in fines and surcharge for a criminal mischief conviction. The warrant signed by Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson on Nov. 19 alleged Sessions had failed to appear as directed on a pending criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument count.

Sessions entered a guilty plea in village court after being offered a plea bargain agreement allowing him to plead guilty to a reduced count of second-degree harassment.

Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow sentenced Sessions to time served and ordered him to pay a $125 surcharge.

In other recent town court action before Mr. Sharlow:

■ Michelle L. Zakarauskas, 24, of 1401 state Route 420, Norfolk, was fined $100 and placed under a one-year conditional discharge with stipulations including making restitution of $300 after a plea bargain agreement reduced a petit larceny count to a disorderly conduct violation.

She had been charged with removing $300 from her register on Nov. 17, 2012 while she was employed at Sear’s at the St. Lawrence Centre mall. Store officials said video footage showed Zakarauskas place money from her register in her shirt sleeve and then transfer the bills to her bra a short time later.

Zakarauskas told troopers she had been counting money in her cash drawer when another associate needed her assistance with a grill, and she had placed the money in her shirt for safekeeping. She said she had forgotten she had put the money in her shirt and didn’t recall finding the $20 and $50 bills after she left work. She had been terminated from her job at the time of the incident.

■ John W. Santarsiero, 40, of 419 Rooseveltown Road, Massena, was fined $500 and a $260 surcharge after a driving while intoxicated count was reduced to driving while ability impaired. His operating privileges were suspended for 90 days, and he was placed under a one-year conditional discharge.

Troopers had charged Santarsiero with driving while intoxicated Sept. 16 after his vehicle struck a guard rail along Route 37 in the town of Massena. State police said they located Santarsiero near the scene and pulled him over. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, the minimum level for a DWI charge.

■ Randy L. Breault, 55, of 76 Liberty Ave., Massena, had a driving while intoxicated count dismissed in the interest of justice. Defense attorney Vaughn Aldrich filed a successful motion arguing police had failed to provide a requested supporting deposition and police lacked probable cause for making the traffic stop July 25 on Alcoa Road in the town of Massena.

Mr. Aldrich argued the allegation that Breault was stopped for using his cell phone while operating his motor vehicle lacked merit. Breault reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent.

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