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Repeat DWI Offender Shawn A. Gusswiller pleads guilty in Saratoga County Court to Driving While Intoxicated in violation of “Vince’s Law.”

Posted on Aug 26, 2015 in 2015 News

Repeat DWI Offender Shawn A. Gusswiller pleads guilty in Saratoga County Court to Driving While Intoxicated in violation of “Vince’s Law.”

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced today that Shawn A. Gusswiller (DOB 11/08/1983), of 1403 North Westcott Road, Schenectady NY, pled guilty Wednesday afternoon in Saratoga County Court to Driving While Intoxicated, in violation of section 1192(3) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, as a class “D” Felony pursuant to “Vince’s Law,” before the Hon. Matthew J. Sypniewski, Acting Saratoga County Court Judge. Shawn A. Gusswiller pleaded guilty today, August 26, 2015, and admitted in Court that on June 11, 2015 he operated a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition in the City of Saratoga Springs. Under the recently enacted (August 14, 2014) provisions of “Vince’s Law” as part of today’s plea defendant Gusswiller acknowledged that he had three (3) prior DWI convictions within the 15 years leading up to his June 11, 2015 arrest. It is believed that Gusswiller’s conviction for a “Vince’s Law” DWI is the first in Saratoga County, perhaps one of the first in New York State. On June 11, 2015, Gusswiller was arrested by the Saratoga Springs Police Department after driving the wrong way on a one-way street in the downtown Saratoga Springs entertainment district. Gusswiller’s actions were captured by the arresting officer’s body camera. The defendant subsequently refused a chemical test to determine his blood alcohol content. At the time of his arrest, Gusswiller had four (4) prior DWI-related convictions (Driving While Intoxicated (2010 and 2008); Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (2010) and Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (2005)) and had a pending DWI-related offense in Schenectady County. Gusswiller was also operating his vehicle without a valid license, as his driver’s license had been revoked due to a previous DWI-related conviction. On August 14, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation creating “Vince’s Law,” an amendment to the current vehicle and traffic laws that raises the penalty levels for offenders who commit three (3) or more DWI-related offenses within 15 years and was named after Vincent Russo, an Onondaga County many who died after a drunk driver with four prior DWI convictions and one pending DWI charge hit him head-on in 2011. DA Heggen said “repeat DWI offenders are without question one of the most serious threats to the safety of our roadways – motorists who repeatedly drive drunk have no place on our roads. We are thankful that this case did not have the same tragic consequences as those...

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Rensselaer County Man Sentenced to total of 30 years in Prison in Saratoga County Court

Posted on Aug 24, 2015 in 2015 News

Rensselaer County Man Sentenced to total of 30 years in Prison in Saratoga County Court

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced today the sentencing and conviction of Alvin W. Dubois, Jr. (dob 3/27/56), for Burglary in the First Degree, in violation of NYS Penal Law Section 140.30(2), a class “B” violent felony, and of Burglary in the Second Degree, in violation of NYS Penal Law Section 140.25(2), a class “C” violent felony, stemming from incidents that occurred in August and October of 2014 in the towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon. Defendant Dubois was sentenced by Acting Saratoga County Court Judge Matthew J. Sypniewski to a determinate sentence of 25 years incarceration for the Burglary in the First Degree incident, plus a period of 5 years post-release supervision, and a determinate sentence of 5 years’ incarceration for the Burglary in the Second Degree incident, plus a period of 5 years post-release supervision. This means that defendant Dubois will serve a total sentence of 30 years in a state prison. District Attorney Heggen noted that the victim in the Burglary First incident bravely addressed the defendant at sentencing today. The victim stated that she “had no idea that my life was about to change forever as I fell asleep in the early morning hours” of the night of the attack. The victim told Judge Sypniewski and the others in court this morning that “… I began to scream for help, it was interrupted by the defendant choking me until I could not speak as I fought for my life…” The victim went on to detail her struggles, injuries and the items the defendant stole from her residence that night. She said “…the tangible things he stole are replaceable, but my sense of safety that he stole from me is not”. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer L. Buckley, who handled this case, noted to the Court at sentencing that the defendant, a previously adjudicated level 3 sexually violent offender, is a “predator and menace. His criminal conduct has continually escalated over the past 30 plus years he has been committing crimes. The threat he poses to the community has been removed today for the 30 years he is sentenced to serve in state prison”. Judge Sypniewski also echoed the comments of the District Attorney’s Office and the victim, that the sentencing today of defendant Dubois to a total of 30 years in prison removes Dubois as a threat to the safety of the community for...

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Halfmoon Man pleads guilty to intentionally injuring Roxy the Dog

Posted on Aug 21, 2015 in 2015 News

Halfmoon Man pleads guilty to intentionally injuring Roxy the Dog

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced today that Scott M. Cusson, Jr. (dob 4/22/95) plead guilty in the Saratoga County Court to the charge of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, in violation of Agricultural and Markets Law Section 353-a(1), “Buster’s Law”, a class “E” felony, before Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III. Cusson admitted that on February 9, 2015, in the Town of Halfmoon, that “he intentionally caused serious physical injury to Roxy the dog”, with no justifiable purpose. Defendant Cusson acknowledged that he sprayed isopropyl alcohol on the dog and lit the alcohol, causing injuries to the dog’s face and ear. The injuries were discovered several days later when the dog was finally taken to a local vet. The vet assessed the injuries and contacted the New York State Police in Clifton Park, who conducted a thorough investigation and identified Cusson as the perpetrator of the injuries. DA Heggen stated that “this is a case of horrific injuries caused by the Defendant to an innocent animal. The photographs depict in ways words cannot describe the extent of the injuries suffered by Roxy the dog. My office was adamant that we would not plea bargain this case in any way. I am firm in my conviction to hold accountable people who harm innocent animals and I believe this case provides justice today for Roxy”.   Roxy was removed from the residence where this incident occurred and was subsequently forfeited by her owner and adopted locally by a loving and caring family. The defendant is expected to be sentenced to a term of state prison when he is sentenced on September 25, 2015 at 9:00...

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Malina M. Singh sentenced to State Prison in Saratoga County Court on her Vehicular Manslaughter conviction from the September 5, 2014 drunk driving crash that caused the death of pedestrian Jonathon L. Rogers in Corinth, NY

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 in 2015 News

Malina M. Singh sentenced to State Prison in Saratoga County Court on her Vehicular Manslaughter conviction from the September 5, 2014 drunk driving crash that caused the death of pedestrian Jonathon L. Rogers in Corinth, NY

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced that Malina M. Singh (DOB 08/03/1994), of 21 Kristin Jones Road, Lake Luzerne NY 12846, was sentenced Monday morning in Saratoga County Court before the Hon. Matthew J. Sypniewski, Acting Saratoga County Court Judge. Malina Singh was sentenced for her conviction of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, (in violation of section 125.12(1) of the Penal Law, as a class “D” Felony,) to an indeterminate state prison term of 2 to 6 years. As part of the sentence, Singh will be required to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle she owns or ever operates upon her release for 3 additional years. Malina Singh’s conviction stems from her previously entered guilty plea on June 22, 2015, where she admitted that in the early morning hours of September 5, 2014 she operated a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition and then struck and ultimately caused the death of Jonathon L. Rogers, a 34 year old pedestrian, as he walked along State Route 9N in Corinth. Singh had spent the hours leading up to the fatal crash drinking alcohol and a chemical test of her blood revealed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18% – an amount more than twice the legal limit. At sentencing, the victim’s (Jonathon Rogers) mother Susan Miller delivered an emotional statement and detailed how their family will never be the same as they have lost a son, a brother and a friend – and that his (Roger’s) children have lost their father. Ms. Miller continued that, as a parent, words could not express the devastation she feels – Rogers was her “baby boy” and the “light of her life,” but that light has now been extinguished because of Singh’s decision to drink and drive on September 5, 2014. Likewise, Tracy Witkowski delivered a statement on behalf of the victim’s (Jonathon Rogers) two children, and identified all of the special moments in her children’s lives that Jonathon will now never get to experience, and how her children will now have go through their lives and through those moments without their father present to share in them. DA Heggen said “There is simply no amount of time that can compensate for a life taken due to the Defendant’s senseless and criminal decision to drive drunk on September 5, 2014. This case typifies the tragic consequences that can result from...

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Wilkinson Sentenced to 15 Years For Killing Wife

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 in 2015 News

Wilkinson Sentenced to 15 Years For Killing Wife

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced today that Acting Saratoga County Court Judge Matthew J. Sypniewski sentenced Charles L. Wilkinson (DOB: 2-21-46) of 9 Meadow Rue Place, Malta, N.Y. to 15 years in State Prison to be followed by 5 years of Post Release Supervision after he pled guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree in violation of Section 125.20 (2) of the Penal Law as Class B Violent Felony. Two months ago Wilkinson admitted to the Court that he had intentionally caused the death of his wife, Kathleen, while under the influence of an “extreme emotional disturbance”.  This killing took place sometime prior to June 1, 2014 at the couple’s home in the Town of Malta. The defendant admitted he strangled his wife Kathleen in their kitchen. He dragged her body into the bedroom and then proceeded to stay in the residence with her body for at least three (3) days. After family members called the Police for a welfare check, the Police discovered a confused and unkempt defendant and, after inquiring about his wife, the police discovered Kathleen’s dead body. The police investigation revealed that Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson had a troubled relationship for many years prior to the incident and doctor evaluations also revealed that the defendant suffered from a mental disorder. DA Heggen said “This is very tragic case. A family is destroyed -a wife lost to a violent death at the hands of her husband and their two children left without their parents. It is highly likely, given his age, that the defendant will spend the remainder of his life behind bars for this heinous crime.” The Wilkinson’s two children chose to absent themselves from the courtroom at sentencing citing the plea and the ultimate sentence are just too painful. This case demonstrates a sad family story that ended in tragedy for all. DA Heggen commended the work of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department and New York State Police- Malta who collaborated to investigate the death and collect evidence and process the scene. The defendant never denied he killed his...

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