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Thu., Jul. 31
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena man sentenced to time served for punching pregnant woman

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MASSENA - A Massena man charged with choking and punching his then-girlfriend because he didn’t think she was listening to him has been fined and sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to a harassment violation.

Village police had charged Charles R. Murdie, 34, of 186 Andrews St., Massena, with criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment stemming from an incident at 4 a.m. Feb. 8, 2013.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Alison B. Appleby said Murdie is currently incarcerated after being picked up on a warrant issued by a Potsdam court for failure to pay a fine.

“Mr. Murdie has also been held, by his estimation, for 20 days on these Massena charges,” she told the court.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson sentenced Murdie to the time served and ordered him to pay a $25 fine and a $125 surcharge.

The charges stemmed from an incident when he was dating Katie Mattison. The couple have not been together for several months.

Ms. Mattison said she was sleeping when Murdie woke her up and started yelling at her for not listening to him. She said he became incensed when she told him she wasn’t listening to him because she had been sleeping.

He reportedly told Mattison he was going to kill her, threw her down on a couch and grabbed her by the throat and neck so she couldn’t breath.

She said he was eventually able to get free but Murdie grabbed her by the throat again and, as she struggled to breath, she punched him in the groin. She said he responded by punching her in the eye and then in the stomach, hours after she had told him she was pregnant.

In other recent court action before Mr. Gustafson:

• Steven J. Stacy, 31, of 20 Cherry St., Potsdam, admitted he had violated the conditions of his probationary sentence by smoking marijuana. He had been sentenced to probation for three years on Feb. 25 for a seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance conviction.

Stacy made the admission after Mr. Gustafson committed to sentence Stacy to no more than 90 days in the county jail when he returns for sentencing on Nov. 18.

Defense attorney Thomas Finnerty had asked the court to adjourn sentencing to November. He noted Stacy is a seasonal employee working for Parker Line Painting and he expects to be laid off at the end of October.

The probation department, in a uniform court report, had charged that since being placed on probation Stacy had left the county without the permission of his probation officer, failed to report as directed for weekly visits, smoked marijuana, consumed alcohol and missed appointments for outpatient substance abuse treatment.

The report had indicated Stacy told probation officials he didn’t have a drug problem and only smoked marijuana in the winter months when he was laid off because he had nothing else to do.

• Cassondra L. Northrup, 30, of 20 Parker Ave., Massena, had a second-degree harassment charge dismissed. She allegedly had threatened to punch Jessica Dodd in the mouth during an encounter in the Dollar General parking lot at 6:10 p.m. June 14, 2013. Ms. Dodd told police she had been having issues with Ms. Northrup for days prior to that incident.

• James R. McArthur, 50, of 59 Cooper St., Babylon, formerly of Willow Street, Massena, was granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with a stipulation he comply with the terms of a no contact order of protection.

McArthur had been charged with second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child following an incident involving a 16-year-old female on Dec. 3, 2011.

Two teenagers - a 16-year-old female and a 15-year-old female - said they had been walking together earlier in the day when McArthur had approached them and engaged in a conversation with them.

The older teen told police she had been walking alone on Willow Street at approximately 7:30 p.m. that night when McArthur allegedly started following her, ran up behind her and placed his hand on the small of her back. The teenager said she was alarmed by the unwanted physical contact.

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