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Former Massena man sentenced to probation for fighting with mom, ex-girlfriend

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MASSENA - A former Massena man charged with punching his ex-girlfriend and mother during a domestic dispute in January has been sentenced to a probationary term of three years for his convictions on criminal contempt and assault charges.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson also fined Andrew G. Courson, 25, of 283 Ratta Road, Apt. 2, Chazy, $75 and a $205 surcharge and a $50 fee to submit a sample of his DNA to the state database. He was also sentenced to time served. Courson had spent four months in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility and was released from custody in April after entering his guilty plea in village court.

Village police had charged Courson with second-degree burglary, criminal obstruction of breathing, three counts of third-degree assault, three counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree contempt of court about 7:45 a.m. Jan. 4 stemming from a domestic dispute at his mother’s residence at 24 Roosevelt St. that reportedly took place over a two-hour period.

Courson pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal contempt and third-degree assault in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied the other charges stemming from the incident.

“He admitted his wrongdoing. He has been clean and sober for over four months. He served 109 days (in jail) on this charge. He has relocated to Plattsburgh and is working full time. I hope the court will not take him out of having full-time employment,” defense attorney Denice (Goodrich) Smith said.

“I got cleaned up and now I’m doing good,” Courson added.

Mr. Gustafson transferred Courson’s probation supervision to Clinton County.

Courson was charged with punching his ex-girlfriend, Amanda L. Parmer in the face several times during an altercation that took place at 5 a.m. and a second incident at 7 a.m. Jan. 4. He also allegedly squeezed Ms. Parmer’s neck so that she was temporarily unable to breathe during the earlier attack.

Police said her face was bruised, and she had swelling to her face and around her eyes as a result of the altercation. She was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

When his mother intervened in an effort to stop her son’s attack on Ms. Parmer on both occasions, Courson reportedly punched her in the head and pushed her into a wall. She complained of pain to her head and leg and was also transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

He also allegedly knocked a lamp over in his mother’s bedroom, breaking it; damaged sheetrock at his mother’s residence when he pushed her into a living room wall; and knocked a cell phone out of Ms. Parmer’s hands when she was trying to call 911 for assistance. He also allegedly took the phone out of her hands and kept it when she made a second attempt to seek assistance from police.

The criminal contempt charge alleged Courson violated a St. Lawrence County Family Court order signed by Judge Cecily L. Morris in September by consuming alcohol and being under the influence of alcohol in the presence of his 3-year-old daughter.

He was charged with burglary for re-entering his mother’s home at 7 a.m. after being told he was not welcome there following the earlier domestic incident and punching and pushing his mother after coming back into her home.

Mr. Courson’s mother said she entered her living room shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday when she heard screaming and found her son on top of his ex-girlfriend.

“Andrew was pounding on her who was on top of her. I grabbed Andrew to get him off to which he shoved me. I was able to get Andrew off Amanda, and him and I began to wrestle around,” she noted in the statement she reportedly signed for police.

“I got Amanda into my bedroom and locked her in. Andrew then began punching me in the face, hitting my chin, punched me in the stomach, anywhere he could,” she added.

She said her son eventually got into her bedroom and attacked Ms. Parmer again, repeatedly punching her in the face. She said she intervened again and was thrown down again by her son, who then started punching her again.

“The whole time Andrew and I were fighting Andrew was telling me he was going to kill me and Amanda,” she said in her statement.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

• Jeremy M. Lawrence, 34, of 18 Park Ave., Apt. 6, Massena, was sentenced to 10 days in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and harassment charges. He was also ordered to pay $250 in court surcharges.

Massena Village Police had charged Lawrence with third-degree assault, second-degree harassment and resisting arrest. His girlfriend, Cheryl V. Cook, 49, of the same address was charged with obstruction of governmental administration after jumping on the back of Ptl. Michael J. O’Brien while he was attempting to place Lawrence in handcuffs during the incident at 2:48 a.m. Nov. 24..

According to her statement to police, trouble began after a night of drinking at the Rusty Wheel.

“Jeremy and I got into a verbal argument at the Rusty Wheel,” Cook said in her statement to police, adding she then walked home.

“About half an hour later, Jeremy came back home. I yelled at Jeremy because he was talking to another woman at the bar,” she said. “Jeremy told me to get out of his place.”

Cook said the incident became violent at that point.

“He then grabbed me by the hair, threw me against the neighbor’s door and threw me down the stairs,” she said.

Police said Lawrence was extremely agitated when they attempted to discuss the alleged domestic dispute with him. He allegedly told Sgt. Adam J. Love he had to work in the morning, shoved the police sergeant and attempted to close the door on him while he was standing in the doorway.

Sgt. Love and a patrolman then entered the apartment, and Cook allegedly jumped on Ptl. O’Brien’s back while police were attempting to arrest Lawrence.

• Kyle A. Griffin, 28, of 163 Hopson Road, Brasher Falls, had his bail reduced to $100 cash following an appearance in village court. He had been charged with second-degree harassment, fourth-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree criminal mischief - preventing an emergency phone call at 10:05 p.m. March 28 following a domestic dispute at 118 Maple St.

He reportedly pushed Leslie Robinson and broke the glass in the back door during a dispute over money, police said.

Griffin was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, where he is serving a nine-month sentence handed down in St. Lawrence County Family Court. He said his release date on that sentence is Dec. 4.

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