Court upholds conviction of Seneca Falls car dealership vandal

The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court in Rochester has unanimously affirmed the conviction of a former Seneca Falls man who vandalized cars at a Seneca Falls car dealer in 2013.

Andrew J. Graves, then 23 years old, and other individuals were charged by the Seneca Falls Police Department with intentionally damaging approximately 57 motor vehicles at Bill Cram Chevrolet during the late evening of March 23, 2013 by “keying” or scratching the paint on various body panels of the vehicles. State Police investigators assisted in the investigation.

After a trial in the Seneca County Court, a jury found Graves, formerly of 2 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, guilty of both criminal mischief in the second degree – a Class D felony and conspiracy in the fifth degree.

County Court Judge Dennis Bender sentenced Graves to state prison for a term of 1½ to 4½ years. The Court also ordered Graves and his two co-defendants to pay restitution in the $40,743.

Co-defendants Charles W. Covert and Jonathan L. Taylor were also convicted and their convictions were previously affirmed on appeal.

On appeal, Graves claimed that the evidence did not establish that he intentionally damaged the property of another or acted in concert with others, that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence, and that the restitution award was improper. In a lengthy decision, the Appellate Division rejected those contentions and agreed with the prosecution’s arguments on all issues.

Graves was represented on the appeal by Rochester attorney Guy Talia. Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch represented the prosecution.

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