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Friday, April 17, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Scott Doll granted motion to obtain untested DNA evidence

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, pembroke, scott doll

Prosecutors have 30 days to produce and turn over evidence in the Scott F. Doll murder case that may yield DNA from the Feb. 19, 2009 crime scene, Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled in a decision released this afternoon.

Doll's attorney, Timothy P. Murphy, filed a pair of appeals related to Doll's 2010 murder conviction, which has him serving a 15-years-to-life prison sentence.

While Noonan granted the DNA appeal, he ruled against Doll on his motion that he received inadequate trial counsel.

At a hearing earlier this week, ADA William Zickl couldn't confirm for Noonan whether the evidence that might yield DNA still existed.

Noonan ruled the evidence be turned over, "subject to any disagreement as to protocol for the custody and preservation of such evidence, which will then be resolved on application to the Court."

On the representation issue, Murphy argued that attorneys Paul Cambria and Daniel Killelea failed to raise objections to Doll's transport from Pembroke to the Sheriff's Office the morning of the murder based on Fourth Amendment provisions.

Noonan ruled that the defense attorneys did adequately raise objections and that the appeals process had already upheld decisions to allow evidence gathered during that process -- statements by Doll and his clothing -- to be admitted at trial.

Doll was convicted by a jury of beating to death a former business partner and prison guard coworker, Joseph Benaquist.

The defense is seeking further DNA testing to establish whether a third person was at the murder scene, which the defense contends, if the DNA testing had been done prior to trial, could have changed the outcome of the case. The prosecution contends the evidence against Doll is so overwhelming that even if a third person's DNA is found at the scene, Doll would still be found guilty of murder by a jury.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: We asked Sheriff Gary Maha if the evidence still existed and was secured. His one-word answer: "yes."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Attorneys argue appeal of Scott Doll murder conviction

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, pembroke, scott doll

Oral arguments in the latest appeal of Scott Doll's murder conviction were heard by Judge Robert C. Noonan this morning in Genesee County Court.

Timothy P. Murphy represented Doll and ADA William Zickl represented the people.

Murphy's appeal is based on a few key points:

  • There was no "emergency doctrine" need to transport Doll from Pembroke to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road the early morning of Feb. 19, 2009 after Doll was found in blood-covered clothes and blood was found on his vehicle parked at North Lake Road and Main Road. Doll, Murphy argued, was taken into the custody, not just merely held in an attempt to find out if somebody was hurt and in need of help;
  • There was no DNA evidence taken from under the fingernails of the murder victim, Joseph Benaquist. If there had been, it's possible the presence of a third party at the scene might have been discovered, which could have changed the outcome of the trial;
  • The failure of Doll's defense attorneys, Paul Cambria and Dan Killelea, to raise these issues at trial constitutes incompetent representation.

Zickl countered:

  • Doll's defense had every opportunity to raise these issues and did in fact raise these issues, at the trial level and through the appeals process and they lost on the rulings;
  • The emergency doctrine does apply to the transport of Doll because the emergency continued unabated until the body of Benaquist was discovered;
  • The transport was necessary because investigators felt certain that Doll was covered in human blood and even though they didn't yet know what happened, it was likely a crime might be discovered and the evidence needed to be secured, rather than letting Doll walk around in 10-degree weather;
  • Because Noonan served as trial judge, he knows Doll received a vigorous, cogent and coherent defense that can hardly be characterized as incompetent;
  • Even if DNA had been collected, and even granting for the sake of argument that a third-party presence might have established, that fact wouldn't have changed the outcome of the case. The evidence that Doll killed Benaquist is simply overwhelming and conclusive. Where Murphy argued that physical evidence indicates Benaquist was involved in a struggle against attackers, Zickl argued the evidence is clear that Benaquist was ambushed and had little opportunity to defend himself. 

Noonan said he should have a written ruling in about a week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 10:55 am

WENDEL’S Chicken Bar-B-Que At the Corfu Grange Hall

post by Michael Plitt in BBQ, Chicken, corfu, grange

WENDEL’S Chicken Bar-B-Que
At the Corfu Grange Hall

Route 77. Corfu NY (across from Pembroke Intermediate School)
Sunday April 26th 2015
11:30 AM – until sold out

Suggested Donations:
Adults $10
Kids $6
Eat in or take out. Includes sides and dessert
Portion of the proceeds to support “Words for Thirds” dictionary Project


Event Date and Time

April 26, 2015 - 11:25am - 2:30pm
Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 11:36 am

Corfu votes for mayor and two trustees

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu

A total of 118 people cast ballots in yesterday's Village of Corfu election for mayor and two trustees.

The lone mayoral candidate, Dave Bielec received 93 votes.

The trustee winners were Jenny McMartin-Eck, with 101 votes, and Al Graham, with 62 votes. Joseph Biggs Johnson was third with 58 votes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Law and Order: Driver allegedly found with narcotics with intent to sell

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, corfu, crime, pembroke

Marquis K. Saddler, 24, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, driving without an interlock device, criminal possession of a narcotic drug, criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell and unlawful possession of marijuana. Saddler was arrested in the driveway of a residence on State Street following a complaint of alleged traffic offenses. Saddler was jailed without bail.

Harry R. Silliman, 51, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Silliman allegedly violated an order of protection by contacting a family member he was ordered not to contact. Silliman allegedly made contact at the Corfu PD office. He was jailed on $250 bail or $1,000 bond.

Patti Ann Strange, 44, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with disorderly conduct. Strange allegedly became verbally and physically offensive while with Pembroke Intermediate School administrators. Strange was reportedly asked to leave the property and allegedly became verbally offensive and was physically removed from the property by a Corfu PD officer and a Sheriff's deputy. 

John James Hassler Jr., 34, of Ontario Center Road, Ontario, Canada, is charged with possession/transport of more than 400 untaxed cigarettes, aggravated unlicensed operation, speeding, driving without an interlock device, unlicensed operator. Hassler was stopped at 10:50 a.m., Monday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Woodrow C. Horseman, 39, no permanent address, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. He was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Minerva Garcia, 35, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking ticket. Garcia posted cash bail and was released.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Town of Pembroke officials look at options in the event the Village of Corfu dissolves

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, pembroke

Town of Pembroke officials ran through a series of issues Monday evening they might face if Village of Corfu residents go through with a referendum to dissolve their government.

There are legal questions to be answered and issues about how to resolve certain expenses related to the village, but in the end, Supervisor Annie Lawrence acknowledged, the question of dissolution isn't really the town board's call.

"We don't run the show," Lawrence said. "This is their decision. There isn't really anything the town can do other than be as prepared as we can be for the town to absorb the village."

The town will have to deal with issues related to village street lighting, brush pick up, sidewalks and police coverage, all under the legal obligation to ensure whatever is done for the village must a service provided to the entire town. Either that or set up special districts.

Town Attorney Mark Boylan said that in his opinion, there need not be a special district set up for street lights because the town currently has street lights at some intersections.  

Since National Grid owns and maintains the village street lights, there is no anticipated future capital expense for the lights, just the $10,000 or so annually to keep them lit.

Street lights, then, can be a general fund expense shared by the entire town if there's no longer a village government.

Sidewalks are a stickier issue. There are some sidewalks in East Pembroke. But for the most part, the town doesn't need to repair or replace sidewalks, therefore it's harder to legally justify making sidewalks a town-wide expense, Boylan explained.

It's more likely, a sidewalk district would need to be defined for the area of the village and a special assessment levied on residents within that district.

Parts of the village that don't currently have sidewalks could, theoretically at least, be carved out of the district, but then a whole new district would need to be created if those neighborhoods ever wanted sidewalks.

On brush pick up, the town would either need to increase the frequency of pick up for the entire town, decrease the frequency for the village, or ask everybody to self-service brush drop-off at a composting station. The service would need to be equal across all areas of the town.

On the issue of police, in order for the village police department to survive the dissolution, the town would have to take on the expense of a police department that patrols the entire town. That would mean expanding the department, hiring more officers, buying patrol vehicles, thereby making the whole operation expensive.

Or the town could contract, perhaps for about $60,000 a year, with the Sheriff's Office to provide extra coverage in the town. While that would likely mean increased patrols in the village, the town cannot contract just for village coverage. The patrols would be responsible, during their shifts, for the entire town.

The village currently has about $250,000 in capital reserves. Boylan said he's waiting for clarification from the state on how that money could be used after the dissolution.

Could it be dedicated to the needs of the present village residents -- such as sidewalks -- or must it just get mixed in with the town's general fund?

"Unfortunately, the state is not every clear," Boylan said. "They are not very clear in the least on how this is supposed to play out."

One solution is for the village government to spend the reserves down if the dissolution resolution is passed by village residents, thereby ensuring the funds collected from village residents provides services for village residents.

No date has been set for a vote on dissolution. But when it does take place, dissolution cannot occur in the same year the vote is taken, so there will be some delay between the vote and the date the village government ceases to exist.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Corfu Troop 42025 celebrated 103rd birthday of Girl Scouts with baby basket donation

post by Billie Owens in corfu, girl scouts

Photo and information from Julie Beach:

On Thursday, March 12th, Girl Scouts across the nation celebrated the "birth" of Girl Scouts 103 years ago. Troop 42025 from Corfu decided they wanted to do something to recognize the event, too.

The troop of 27 girls created a gift basket to be given to the first baby born on Girl Scout "birthday." Troop members pictured brought the basket to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.

From left are: Autumn Kortykowski, Sienna Kortykowski, Hannah Beach, Lilly Sanko, Makenzie Rich and Paige Bryant.

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

Town of Pembroke to meet Monday to discuss Village of Corfu dissolution

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, pembroke

Public Notice:

TAKE NOTICE that there will be a Special Meeting of the Pembroke Town Board, to be held at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2015 at Pembroke Town Hall, 1145 Main Road, Corfu, NY for the purpose of discussion of Village of Corfu Dissolution.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 7:18 am

Pickup truck vs. school bus accident reported, no injuries, in Corfu

post by Billie Owens in accident, corfu

A pickup truck vs. school bus accident is reported in the area of Alleghany Road and Water Street, "under the bridge." Corfu fire command confirms no injuries. Engine #42 is responding, along with Mercy medics, non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 7:47 a.m.: Medics are back in service. As required, a rep from the state Department of Transportation is en route to the scene.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Corfu students earns degree 'with great distinction' from Clarkson University

post by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones

Katelynn M. Hackett, of Corfu, received a bachelor of science degree with great distinction in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University on Dec. 31, 2014.

Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues.

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