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Sun., Dec. 21
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Rensselaer Falls man to be sentenced in restaurant owner’s death sent back to jail

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A Rensselaer Falls man on probation pending his July 7 sentencing to four to 12 years in prison for first-degree vehicular manslaughter could spend his remaining free time in St. Lawrence County jail.

Daniel W. Lester, 28, was sent without bail Thursday to St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, after turning himself in to authorities shortly after noon. A warrant had been issued Wednesday afternoon after probation officials informed County Court that Mr. Lester had violating the conditions of his probation by testing positive Suboxone and violating his curfew.

Mr. Lester pleaded guilty April 25 in the December hit-and-run death of Richard F. Morrow, 68, Ellis Road, Canton.

County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards said Mr. Lester never told the court he was taking the pills or that they were a valid prescription.

“He told me he wasn’t using. He didn’t tell probation, and he continued to use. He lied,” the judge said. “He was told to stay clean.”

The judge also said he was no longer bound to the four-to-12-year sentence.

County Public Defender Stephen D. Button asked the court to continue Mr. Lester on probation. He said his client was not a flight risk, that he was attending drug treatment and that Mr. Lester believed he was complying with the rules of probation.

At about 10:40 p.m. Dec. 23, Mr. Lester was driving on County Route 27 in Canton when his Toyota Corolla struck and killed Mr. Morrow, owner of the Meadows Restaurant. Mr. Lester fled the scene.

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