Appellate Division affirms convictions and sentences for Cayuga County defendants

District Attorney Jon Budelmann announced today that the Appellate Division affirmed the following five convictions and sentences for defendants prosecuted by this Office:

Christopher J. Kelly pled guilty to Attempted Murder in the Second Degree on September 15, 2011. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five (5) years’ post-release supervision on November 23, 2011. [Underlying facts: On June 23, 2010, Kelly burst into the home of his ex-girlfriend (in Village of Meridian), chased her into the street, and slashed her throat with a knife. The victim was holding their two-year-old daughter during the attack; another child, whom she was babysitting, was also present at the time.

DA Budelmann commented: “This victim courageously protected two children from the violent acts of this defendant and escaped almost-certain death at his hands. We are gratified that the defendant’s conviction and sentence remain in place, and society will be protected from this violent individual for the foreseeable future.”

Roosevelt R. Coleman, Jr. pled guilty to two (2) counts of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree on December 17, 2014. On February 18, 2015, the Court sentenced him to 2-4 years in prison, along with a concurrent one-year jail sentence for his separate convictions of Making a Terroristic Threat and Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree (for threatening a Judge inside the Courthouse). The Appellate Division affirmed the Defendant’s convictions of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree and the sentences imposed for those convictions (Coleman did not appeal the other convictions). The Appellate Division directed County Court to address a technical issue regarding the length of the order of protection.

DA Budelmann commented: “This defendant is a serial violator of orders of protection. As we have in the past, we successfully fought for his conviction and incarceration after his latest violation.”

Brett F. Copes pled guilty to Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree on January 13, 2015. On July 7, 2015, the court sentenced to Copes to 3.5 years in prison and 1.5 years PRS. As part of his plea, Copes forfeited his interest in $2,773.59 in cash the police recovered from his residence. The police recovered this cash, 12.5 grams of cocaine, scales and other drug paraphernalia when they executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on October 24, 2014.

DA Budelmann commented: “Copes was a major drug dealer, now convicted of his third drug felony (6/2006 Att. CSCS 3rd 2.5 yrs; 5/1998 CSCS 3rd 7.5-15), who was sentenced fairly and appropriately for his newest crimes.”

Kyle Hunter was convicted of Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree on February 23, 2015, upon verdict after jury trial. He was subsequently sentenced to 3-6 years to be served consecutively to his prior prison sentence. On January 25, 2014, while an inmate at Auburn Correctional Facility, a Correction Officer found him in possession of a slashing weapon.

Michael German was convicted of two (2) counts of Assault in the Second Degree on April 20, 2015, upon verdict after jury trial. He was subsequently sentenced to six (6) years in prison (consecutive to his prior sentence) and five (5) years’ PRS. The defendant, an inmate, attacked and injured two Correction Officers at Auburn Correctional Facility on May 24, 2013.

DA Budelmann stated, “These cases show our commitment to protecting CO’s and other staff by prosecuting inmates who possess dangerous, illegal weapons and/or who assault corrections staff.”

Chief ADA Chris Valdina handled the Kelly, Coleman, and Copes appeals. ADA Brian Leeds handed the Hunter and German appeals.

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