Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alleged vehicle vandals reject plea deal

Finger Lakes Times:
WATERLOO — Two of the four Seneca Falls men accused of vandalizing dozens of vehicles at Bill Cram Chevrolet have rejected plea deals that would have included prison time.

The attorneys for Charles Covert and Adam Graves turned down the deals Monday in Seneca County Court. The district attorney’s office asked them to plead guilty to second-degree criminal mischief, a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

If they would taken the plea, Judge Dennis Bender would have committed to a maximum sentence of 1 1⁄3 to 4 in prison for each. They would also be required to pay $90,000 in restitution along with the other co-defendants, Jonathan Klingensmith and Jonathan Taylor.

Covert, Graves, Klingensmith and Taylor are accused of damaging more than 50 vehicles during the overnight hours of March 23 and 24 at the Routes 5&20 dealership. They were arrested in May by Seneca Falls police after an investigation of nearly two months....

Covert’s Auburn-area attorney, Rome Canzano, indicated his client would testify before the grand jury. Graves’ Syracuse-area attorney, Robert Baska, didn’t say if his client would testify...

Klingensmith is being represented by Waterloo-area attorney Michael Conroy, while Taylor is being represented by Ovid-area attorney Steven Getman.

All four men are free on the county’s pretrial release program.

The charges are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.