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Interview with Charles and Nick

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Charles: When I was arrested I was left in jail and wasn't able to make bail. Was there for six months. I paid for a lawyer but it still took that long to get the matter settled.
Nick: It was all about conviction rates for the local DA ,and in this county always will be.Ontario County leads the state in DWI convictions, and after you have had 1 you now have a target on your back.The district attorney tried to have me charged as a 2nd felony violator.In his choice of sentencing he was bound and determined I was going to prison for 2-4 years over a 214.00 check.I took the check because my step son owed me money and restitution was paid before I had even been charged or arrested.My wife and step son went all the way to the judge to have the charges dropped, and the DA refused to drop the charges. At the time I opted for a public defender and for weeks there would be no contact. To call and leave a message was worthless and finally after several court appearances he told me when you return next have your matters in order because your going to prison. The next day I hired a private attorney, within 2 weeks he had worked out an acceptable deal. The DA knew all along he could not charge me with a second felony so things were dropped to 1st time felony offender.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Charles: I came to Geneva to visit my family and was targeted for arrest. They began following me around. I was out walking and thinking that somebody was following me. I would stop and the vehicle behind me would stop. Then when I got in the car, they zoomed up with guns drawn.
Nick: Originally I was arrested out of rehab,I had 4700. cash and the judge wanted 5000. for bail so he refused my bail.After 30 days I was allowed bed to bed transfer back to rehab.I stayed in rehab and completed it finally returning home with my wife.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Charles: Never made it to trial because the person who actually did the killing I was arrested for waas found. Before that I was completely stressed out sitting in there thinking I was going to jail for the rest of my life for something I didn't do. I was wondering if I was ever going to get out.
Nick: With this public defender I was always on edge, I never knew what the out come was going to be, and as far as I knew every time I could have been carted off to jail or receive a prison sentence. The final day of court we appeared with a plea agreement.(mainly because I refused to take a risk of trial or even a fair trial at that) Because I have a medical issue dating back a few years we agreed I would go in and do 29 days, I had done 29 days when arrested out of rehab. I would then be released for a day and return and finish 2 more days to make it an even 60 days. The break up in the time was so I did not loose my Social Security Disability benefits.Along with this I would receive 5 years felony diversion probation.In court the 1st thing the judge asked the DA was if I was dressed satisfactory.Then he said I see you are a Vet thanks for serving. The rest I just explained.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Charles: The original charge was conspiracy to committ murder. I requested a speedy trial in 30 days but that didn't happy. The charges were dropped.
Nick: Felony Possession of a forged Instrument, these were the final charges

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