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Tue., Sep. 23
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Massena woman pleads guilty to criminal mischief in plea bargain agreement

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MASSENA - A Massena woman facing two new charges since pleading guilty to a petit larceny count in May entered a guilty plea to a reduced count during a recent appearance before Massena Town Justice James M. Crandall.

Jamie L. Northrup, 36, of 587 South Main St., Massena, pleaded guilty to a reduced count of fourth-degree criminal mischief in a plea bargain agreement that also satisfied a petit larceny count stemming from an incident on June 19.

Mr. Crandall directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Sept. 17.

Defense attorney Joseph Welch sought a commitment from the court that the sentence for the criminal mischief conviction would run concurrent with her sentence for a previous petit larceny conviction.

St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney A. Michael Gebo nixed that commitment before he even had a chance to respond. The prosecutor said he would be unwilling to make any sentencing commitments since he hadn’t seen the results of the pre-sentence investigation.

Northrup was one of two Massena women charged with felony criminal mischief counts stemming from an investigation into an incident June 14 at a residence on state Route 420 just outside the village of Massena that led to eight arrests.

Massena-based state police charged Northrup and Sandra J. Moerlins, 44, of Massena with third-degree criminal mischief after they allegedly broke a rear window near the rear entrance at 2224 state Route 420 at 7:38 p.m. June 14.

Shari L. Caza told police she was at her residence shortly after 7 p.m. that Saturday evening when she heard some people knocking at her back door seeking to gain entrance to her house.

“When we didn’t answer the door, there was a crash and the sound of broken glass hitting the floor. We found a block of wood with a screw at the bottom of it, like it came off a piece of furniture. I suspect this was thrown through the window because it was not in my house prior to that,” she noted in her statement.

Andrew Northrup told state police he and Moerlins were upset because they had given Derek Sessions $100 for marijuana, and the Massena man took their money, but failed to provide them with any drugs.

Ms. Northrup entered the guilty plea after prosecutors filed a motion to have the felony criminal mischief count reduced to a misdemeanor and returned to local court.

Mr. Gebo said there were prosecutorial issues with the paperwork accompanying the felony count.

“There is no eyewitness testimony identifying this defendant as the person who committed the damage, and there is no documentation for the value of the damaged property,” he told the court.

The plea also satisfied a petit larceny count stemming from an incident on June 19 when she was charged with shoplifting two pairs of sandals, including a pair of sandals she was wearing when she walked out of the Family Dollar store.

She had been jailed since that arrest. It occurred the same day Mr. Crandall had signed a warrant for Northrup’s arrest, allegedly she had violated the conditions of her release under the supervision of the probation department on a previous petit larceny conviction.

She was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility after her latest plea with bail continued at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

Northrup had pleaded guilty to one count of petit larceny in late May in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied issuing a bad check and petit larceny counts pending in Massena courts and another charge pending in Potsdam Town Court. Her agreement called for her to make restitution on all charges covered by the plea bargain. Sentencing in that case is also set for Sept. 17.

Village police had charged Northrup and Courtney E. Lashomb of Massena with fourth-degree grand larceny in connection with a shoplifting incident on Dec. 2 at the Massena Walmart store.

Police alleged Northrup and Lashomb had walked past the last point of sale at the store without paying for $1,341.12 worth of merchandise. A store loss prevention associate told police Northrup placed two Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy II cell phones, each valued at $399, a variety of groceries and laundry supplies ranging from laundry soap to bleach and from steak and potatoes to ice cream and clothing items, including lingerie, in a shopping cart and then walked past the last point of sale without paying for the items. She was assisted in the effort by Lashomb, according to court documents.

Prosecutors filed a motion with the local court to have the felony count reduced to the misdemeanor charge of petit larceny.

Among the other charges satisfied by that plea was a petit larceny count stemming from a shoplifting incident Dec. 4 at Sears when she allegedly walked out of the store without paying for a 32-inch Samsung Smart TV. The probation department had filed a uniform court report in June that noted she had tested positive for suboxone and cocaine since being released under the supervision of the probation department pending sentencing.

In other recent court action before Judge Crandall:

• Ashton M. Francis, 26, of 381 state Route 37, Hogansburg, was fined $200 and a $105 surcharge after a resisting arrest count was reduced to a disorderly conduct violation.

She had been charged with shoplifting $594.77 worth of merchandise from Walmart on June 23, 2013. She was charged with resisting arrest after she fled into the nearby woods when police were attempting to take her into custody on the petit larceny count. She was apprehended a short time later on the nearby railroad tracks.

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