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Sun., Aug. 30
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena woman ordered to make restitution for bad check


MASSENA - A Massena woman was sentenced to time served and ordered to make restitution for an issuing a bad check conviction.

Justine M. Gardner, 37, of 3449 state Route 37, Massena, spent five days in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility after being picked up on a bench warrant Friday.

Gardner had pleaded guilty to the issuing a bad check count on May 27, 2013, but the warrant had been issued after she failed to return to court for her scheduled sentencing for that conviction.

“We had to issue a warrant go get you here,” Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson said.

Gardner told the court she had learned her lesson after her stay at the county jail.

“I just want to get home. I’ll make payments as long as I need to,” she pledged.

Mr. Gustafson ordered Gardner to make restitution of $880, pay a $205 surcharge and placed her under a one-year conditional discharge.

Village police had charged Gardner with one count of issuing a bad check. She allegedly wrote a check to Frenchie’s for $799.83 on May 11, 2011 on an account with insufficient funds.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

• Darrell J. Herne Jr., 24, of 190 Center St., Massena, is scheduled to return to court at 8 a.m. Monday for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to hold the felony case against him over for possible grand jury action. He had been charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon after police responded to a complaint at 12:31 a.m. May 24.

He reportedly struck James D. “Country” Martin, 35, during an argument in the kitchen of an apartment at 190 Center St. Mr. Martin was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment of a broken jaw.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for last week had been adjourned because Mr. Martin was still hospitalized and unable to testify.

St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney A. Michael Gebo told the court this week that Mr. Martin had been released from the hospital, and the prosecutor said he was prepared to move forward with the preliminary hearing.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Conflict Public Defender Heather Dona told the court she still had not seen medical records from the incident. She said she had preliminary discussions with Mr. Gebo about the case.

“We will let the court know ASAP if my client decides to waive the prelim,” she told Mr. Gustafson.

• Jamie Patterson, 19, of 16 Parker Ave., Massena, was fined $25 and a $125 surcharge after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of marijuana.

He had been charged with possessing a small plastic bag containing marijuana and a smoking device with marijuana residue at 12:45 a.m. May 27. The items were located when police were doing a pat down search for weapons when they were searching for a person at 259 Center St., Apt. 1, according to court documents.

• Krystal L. Olson, 35, of 3 Ripley St., Massena, pleaded not guilty to second-degree harassment and second-degree criminal trespass following an incident in the early morning hours of May 27 at her sister’s residence at 16 Boynton Street.

Carrie LaDuke told police her sister entered her residence without her permission.

“Krystal is not welcome in my residence and knows this. Krystal has not been in my house for four to five months. Krystal and I do not get along. That’s why I do not want her here,” Ms. LaDuke noted in her statement to police.

She told police she woke up and heard her sister yelling at her mother, Marlene Russell. She said her mother was telling Olson to leave the residence.

“I came out of my room and told Krystal to leave. Krystal then grabbed my hair and punched me on the right side of my face. When Krystal hit me it was a shock and it really hurt. I swung back at Krystal and hit her in the face. My mom got between us and when she did Krystal punched my mom and my mom fell down the stairs cutting her toe,” Ms. LaDuke said, noting her sister then ran out of the house like nothing had happened.

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