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Massena man fined for providing police with false information about accident


MASSENA - A 30-year-old Massena man charged with providing police with false information about an accident now faces more than $400 in fines and surcharges.

Massena-based state police charged Lindsey M. Prashaw, 31, of 212A Fregoe Road, and Gregory P. Baxter, 30, of 38 Pine St., with misdemeanor sixth-degree conspiracy following an investigation into a rollover accident that took place at approximately 1 a.m. Jan. 1 on County Route 42. Prashaw was also charged with making a misdemeanor false written statement.

Baxter was additionally charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree falsely reporting an incident and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors, and several traffic infractions.

Massena Town Justice James M. Crandall fined Baxter $250 and a $125 surcharge after the reckless endangerment count was reduced to a second-degree harassment violation in a plea bargain agreement with the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office.

He was additionally fined $50 after pleading guilty to a reduced count of simple unlicensed operation and an additional $50 after the speeding charge was reduced to a no point violation.

Troopers said Baxter had stated that he was the sole occupant of his truck when he reported the accident that night, a position echoed by Prashaw when she was questioned if she and her 4-year-old child also had been in the vehicle. She later admitted that she and the child had been involved in the incident. The child was later treated for abrasions he suffered in the rollover, troopers said.

In other recent court action before Judge Crandall:

■ Michael R. Baleno, 42, of 699 state Route 11C, Winthrop, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. The court directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for April 16.

Village police had charged Baleno with third-degree assault after responding to a disturbance complaint at 11:48 a.m. Nov. 7 in the BJ’s Wholesale Club parking lot at the St. Lawrence Centre mall.

Shawn Webster was reportedly sitting in his truck in the parking lot when Baleno approached the vehicle, opened the door and started punching Mr. Webster in the face before the two combatants were separated by a third person. Troopers said Baleno suffered a cut lip during the altercation.

Baleno indicated his actions were motivated by Mr. Webster’s alleged treatment of a mutual friend.

■ Mark C. Martin, 46, of 250 Andrews St., Massena, was fined $300 and a $260 surcharge and had his operating privileges suspended for 90 days after pleading guilty to a reduced count of driving while ability impaired.

Village police had charged Martin with aggravated driving while intoxicated following a traffic stop at 3:40 a.m. July 6 on Danforth Place. He was also ticketed for two counts of failure to signal. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.22 percent. A driving while intoxicated count (BAC of 0.08 percent of higher) is elevated to aggravated DWI when the BAC is 0.18 percent or higher.

■ Jason A. Clookey, 34, of 8545 state Route 56, Norfolk, was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, where he has been held since being picked up on a bench warrant Tuesday for violating his release under probation supervision on two grand larceny counts. Bail was continued at $1,500 cash or $3,000 bond.

Mr. Crandall told Clookey he would be willing to release him under the supervision of the probation department if he enters a long-term in-patient substance abuse treatment program.

Clookey was picked up on the warrant Tuesday by Potsdam Village Police when he was checking himself out of rehab before he had completed the program.

Clookey had been charged with two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny on Jan. 14. He reportedly used the credit card issued to Danko Construction to make several purchases of cigarettes, beer and gasoline for friend’s vehicles between Dec. 4 - 7.

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