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Friday, December 26, 2014 at 7:36 am

Grand Jury Report: Man accused of causing brain injury to a child in Bethany

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bethany, crime, walmart

Anthony P. Dibble is indicted on counts of reckless assault of a child and assault in the second degree. Dibble is accused of causing a serious physical injury to the brain of a child less than 5 years old by shaking the child or slamming or throwing the child so as to impact the child's head on a hard surface or object. He is accused of intending to cause physical injury to a person under 7 years of age and caused such an injury by biting the person. The alleged crimes were reported Aug. 11 in the Town of Bethany.

Carrie A. Stewart is indicted on counts of burglary in the third degree, petit larceny and criminal contempt in the second degree. Stewart is accused of entering Walmart on Sept. 14 with the intent of committing a crime inside the building. Once inside Walmart, Stewart allegedly stole party supplies, books, dolls, toys, an Easy Bake Oven and a karaoke machine. She allegedly violated a court order that required her to stay away from a person at Walmart.

Robert J. Propst is indicted on counts of robbery in the first degree, two counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. On Aug. 6, Propst allegedly use force to steal property from a victim on Pearl Street, Batavia, while wielding a knife. He's accused of stealing property from the person, including a Visa credit card.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

Doctor reports no brain activity for Jeffrey Deats following CAT scan

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime

Jeffrey L. Deats, the Batavia resident charged with the death of 6-month-old Chandler Zuchs, is showing no brain activity, according to a letter from District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asking that Deats be released from custody on his own recognizance.

The letter was filed with City Court this morning.

Friedman states that Bill Zipfel, superintendent of the Genesee County Jail, informed him that a doctor at ECMC contacted the jail following a CAT scan on Deats and found there is no brain activity in the patient.

Deats is not expected to survive.

"Zipfel also told me that guarding the defendant 24/7 is creating a terrible burden on his staff and he requested that they be relieved of their duty and the defendant be released on his own recognizance," Friedman wrote.

A felony hearing scheduled for this morning in City Court was cancelled.

Deats was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into the death the previous weekend of Baby Chandler.

Over the weekend, Deats was found hanging in his cell by bedsheets. CPR was performed and he was taken to UMMC and later transfered to ECMC.

For previous coverage of the case, click here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 9:38 am

Law and Order: Early morning disturbance on Maple leads to a pair of arrests

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

Andrea M. Gray, 36, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, criminal mischief, 4th, criminal tampering, 3rd, coercion, 1st, and obstruction of governmental administration. During an incident first reported at 2:12 a.m. Saturday at a residence on Maple Street, Gray allegedly tore the shirt of a roommate during a fight. She then allegedly attempted to interfere with the arrest of a person accused of violating a court order by having contact with her. She allegedly attempted to coerce police officers to release the suspect by threatening to harm herself if he was not released. Gray was jailed without bail. Gray was also charged with petit larceny for allegedly taking the mobile phone of a roommate Friday and not returning it.

Russell R. Miles Jr., 46, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Miles was arrested following an investigation into a disturbance reported at 2:12 a.m. Saturday on Maple Street, Batavia. Miles has a previous criminal contempt conviction within the past five years. He was ordered held without bail.

Jeremiah J. Cieszynski, 27, of Warsaw, and Sally M. Sims, 24, of Warsaw, are charged with petit larceny. Cieszynski and Sims are accused of stealing clothing and sneakers valued at $125 from Kmart.

Bashard L. Joiner, 21, of Rochester, is charged with two counts of criminal trespass, 3rd. Joiner received a suspension letter from GCC on Oct. 9 and told he was not permitted on campus property. During November, Joiner was allegedly spotted several times at College Village by safety officers and video surveillance. On Dec. 10, Joiner was located in the cafeteria on campus and placed under arrest by State Police. He was jailed on $300 bail or $600 bond.

Jeannette Kathleen Moore, 44, of West Avenue, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny. Moore is accused of stealing from Kmart while employed at the store.

Katie R. Wishman, 29, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Wishman allegedly hit another family member in the face with a mug causing an injury. This act was allegedly committed in the presence of a 3-year-old child. During the investigation, police allegedly found heroin and needles. Wishman was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Kelly A. Hasenauer, 50, of Webster Street, Batavia, is charged with falsifying business records. Hasenauer allegedly signed a fake name to a business record at UMMC's ER in an attempt to defraud.

Linda L. Snyder, 32, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Snyder allegedly threatened to fight another person at 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Debra Elizabeth Webster, 46, of Route 20A, Warsaw, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or higher, unlawful possession of marijuana, speeding and failure to signal. Webster was stopped at 12:23 a.m.  Friday on Noonan Drive, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

William James Johnson, 41, of Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speeding and failure to keep right. Johnson was allegedly involved in an accident at 9:22 p.m. Saturday on Route 5, Pembroke, which was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Matthew Alan Hoye, 23, of Woodcrest Drive, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Hoye was arrested following a check of a roadside vehicle at 12:26 a.m., Saturday.

Peter James Curts, 25, of Main Street, Caledonia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and failure to stop at a stop sign. Curts was stopped at 11 p.m. Thursday on Parmalee Road, Le Roy, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Brett W. Short, 28, of Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Short was charged by State Police following a traffic stop Friday morning in Batavia.

Arthur Robinson, 60, of Raleigh, NC, is charged with DWI in a commercial vehicle and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Robinson was stopped at 10 a.m. Sunday by State Police on Clinton Street Road, Stafford.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 8:52 am

Batavia resident faces drug charges following raid at Summit Street house looking for items stolen in Albion

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Philip Ayala

Following a search of a residence on Summit Street yesterday, a 29-year-old Batavia resident was arrested and accused of dealing drugs.

The residence at 136 Summit St., Batavia, was searched pursuant to a warrant related to an investigation by Albion PD into a series of thefts in that community.

Arrested by the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force was Philip R. Ayala. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Criminal possession, 3rd, is charged when prosecutors believe the suspect possessed narcotics with the intent to sell the drugs.

Authorities say they recovered a quantity of crack cocaine and marijuana.

The search also yielded several items that were allegedly stolen from the Albion area.

Ayala was jailed on no bail.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.

In a statement yesterday, Albion Police Chief Roland D. Nenni III said additional arrests were expected.

Batavia PD and the Emergency Response Team assisted in the search.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 8:16 am

Driver flees after head-on accident on Prospect Avenue

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, crime

These two vehicles were involved in an overnight accident on Prospect Avenue, Batavia, according to the reader who provided the pictures. The white Honda Civic was parked and the red Mercedes struck the car head-on. The driver fled. At the time the photos were sent to us early this morning, the driver was still at large. We've been unable so far this morning to obtain additional information.

UPDATE: Police say officers have yet to make contact with the driver; however, police believe they know who the driver was and charges are pending.

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Jeffrey Deats now in stable condition at ECMC

post by Howard B. Owens in baby, Baby Chandler, crime
Jeffrey Deats

Jeffrey L. Deats, the 28-year-old man charged with manslaughter in the death eight days ago of Chandler Zuchs, is now listed in stable condition following an apparent suicide attempt last night at the Genesee County Jail.

This morning Deats was listed in critical condition.

Baby Chandler died at age 6 months. The Monroe County Medical Examiner reported that Chandler suffered brain injuries.

Deats was arrested Wednesday following a police investigation into the death.  

He was jailed on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000.

Deats was reportedly found hanging from bedsheets in his cell shortly after midnight. A corrections officer performed CPR and Deats was transported by Mercy EMS to UMMC before being transferred to ECMC.

For previous coverage of the case, click here.

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Man convicted of firing handgun on State Street given eight years in prison

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime
Dashawn Butler

After denying a defense motion for a new trial, Judge Robert C. Noonan today sentenced Dashawn Butler to eight years in prison.

Accused of firing a handgun at another person Sept. 27, 2013, on State Street, Butler was convicted Nov. 22 following a jury trial of criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, 2nd, and attempted assault, 1st.

On a motion by Defense Attorney Thomas Burns, Noonan reduced the second count to criminal possession of a weapon, 4th.

Burns argued during the trial and in written motions that the charges should be dismissed and the verdict overturned based on his contention that the prosecution failed to produce significant evidence of a weapon being used.

There was no physical evidence in the case, Burns said. 

"In this case there simply is no physical or forensic evidence that the firearm my client is alleged to have possessed was loaded, if it had ammunition, and if it did, if the ammunition was capable of being ignited and propelled, and that the firearm itself was operable," Burns said.

While Burns characterized witness testimony as that of a "layperson's" account, Noonan, in his written decision and order, gave substantial credence to the testimony.

"Although the weapon in question was never recovered," Noonan wrote, "the victim's testimony that the defendant shot at him three times such that he could actually see the fire coming out of the barrel of the gun, together with other eyewitness testimony as to the defendant's possession of a small black revolver which he pulled out and shot at victim repeatedly before the gun jammed, as well as the defendant's subsequent possession of the same weapon and statements to the effect that the victim was not hit and the gun jammed either because the bullets were too big or blanks, provides sufficient, circumstantial evidence that the gun possessed by the defendant was operable immediately prior to jamming."

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asked Noonan to send Butler to prison for a long stretch.

"Based on his criminal history and his conduct this case, involving firing a loaded handgun, not only at another person, but while other people were in the area, and based on this defendant's intimidation of a witness, which was laid out for the court in great detail, we're asking for the maximum sentence," Friedman said.

Burns suggest a minimum sentence would be more appropriate.

"My client is a young man who has children and does not have an extensive hard criminal history," Burns said. "Given the wide range of sentencing options available to the court, a minimum, determinate sentence would be appropriate."

Noonan said it was an unusual case and an unusual trial, but the conviction was serious enough to warrant the maximum sentence.

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Bang heard on Summit was part of police raid to search house

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A residence on Summit Street was raided by Batavia's Emergency Response Team shortly before 4 p.m. to search for the fruits of alleged thefts in Albion.

The ERT was called in, Assistant Chief Rob Yaeger said, because there were reports that weapons were being sold out of the residence.

Yaeger didn't say what was recovered or who was detained because it's an Albion PD case.

A flash-bang device was used to help create a distraction, which caused at least one neighboring resident to report "shots fired" on Summit Street.  

The operation was undertaken to execute a search warrant and Yaeger said the search was fruitful.

Further details when they become available.

UPDATE: Press release from Albion PD:

The Albion Police Department has made an arrest in relation to the ongoing investigation regarding the larcenies and burglaries that have occurred over the past several weeks in the Northeast side of the Village of Albion.

Search Warrants were executed at two locations in the Village of Albion on Saturday (12-20-14) and one search warrant was executed today (12-22-14) at a location in the City of Batavia.

A large quantity of stolen property was recovered as a result of the search warrants and additional persons of interest have been identified.

The case is ongoing with additional arrests expected. The names of those arrested, wanted or other persons of interest are not being released at this time. A more complete press release will be done when the investigation is closer to being completed.

The Albion Police are asking anyone who may have had items stolen, regardless if they have filed a Police Report, to contact the Albion Police Department at 585-589-5627 to identify and recover their stolen property.

The Albion Police were assisted by the Batavia Police Department, Batavia Police Emergency Response Team and the Genesee County Drug Task Force.

Anyone with information regarding the crimes is asked to call the Albion Police Department at 585-589-5627.

Photo: Ellsworth Avenue as the incident was wrapping up.

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 7:46 am

Suspect in baby death case reportedly attempts suicide in jail

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime
Jeffrey Deats

Jeffrey L. Deats, the 28-year-old Batavia resident held on a manslaughter charge in the death of Baby Chandler Zuchs, reportedly attempted suicide overnight.

Sheriff Gary Maha said Deats was found in his cell at 11:55 p.m. He had tried to use a bedsheet to hang himself.

A corrections officer performed CPR. Deats was transported to UMMC and later transferred to ECMC, where he is listed in critical condition.

"I cannot comment on his medical condition due to confidentially issues, but he is still alive," Maha said.

A corrections officer had made a routine check of his cell nine minutes prior to Deats being found during the suicide attempt.

Deats was arrested Wednesday on a charge of manslaughter, 2nd.  

Six-month-old Chandler Zuchs, whom at the time Deats apparently believed was his son, was on an overnight visit the weekend before at the Olyn Avenue home of Deats when the child died.

Baby Chandler suffered brain injuries, according to a Medical Examiner's report, authorities said.

Following the arrest of Deats, a DNA report surfaced that showed another man, not Deats, was the biological father of Baby Chandler.


Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Video: This morning's press conference on death of Baby Chandler

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Baby Chandler, crime

The press conference was 13 minutes long. To upload it to YouTube, I had to trim it to less than 10 minutes. I tried to cut portions that seemed redundant or not particularly relevant.

Recap: Jeffrey L. Deats, 28, of 10 Olyn Ave., Batavia, is charged with manslaughter, 2nd. Deats appears to have believed he was the father of 6-month-old Chandler Zuch. Baby Chandler was on an overnight visitation with Deats when he was found unresponsive on the living room couch of the Deats home Sunday morning. He was later pronounced dead at UMMC. This afternoon, Michael Senay was identified as Chandler's biological father. Baby Chandler suffered brain injuries, which appear to be the cause of death. Deats is being held in the Genesee County Jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. He is scheduled for a felony hearing Dec. 24.

From the press conference, key statements by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman:

  • "The question is, was this death caused by what is commonly known as 'shaken baby syndrome'? The key part of that question is the use of the term, 'commonly known.' What I would say is that neither medically nor legally do we use that term.  I recognize that it is commonly known as that, and that may be a layman's term for what occured here, but it's not a term that we would use."
  • "Why not murder? Well, generally, murder involves intentionally causing the death of another person. Generally speaking, that's the most common basis for a murder charge and that is not what is supported by the evidence we currently have."
  • Regardine timeline on the morning of Chandler's death: "Certainly that's a factor as to the cause of the death, the time the injuries may have been inflicted and the time it was reported."
  • "The question was asked before, are we talking about eyewitnesses or people who had information. Witnesses are obviously not just inclusive of people who saw a crime being committed. There can be witnesses, certainly, to surrounding circumstances. There are a number of people who have been interviewed about this case, certainly, and but that's not the same thing as saying there are people who saw the injuries being caused."
  • "I wouldn't refer to this as negligence, no. To be more clear on what I'm saying is negligence is often a civil term. There's negligence, to criminal negligence, to recklessness, and then up to intent. What we're dealing with here -- as far as the charge of manslaughter in the second degree -- is recklessness."
  • "I don't think we've used the term 'hit' as far as what happened to the child -- injury to the brain, which does not necessarily involve the child being hit."

In our first story last night, we reported that Deats had been arrested at least twice before. Today we received copies of court documents in both of those cases.

On Dec. 5, 2011, Deats was charged with harassment, 2nd. His mother accused him of threatening to kill her and her dog. In connection with this case, he was also accused of violating an order of protection. The criminal contempt charge was a factor today in Judge Robert Balbick setting a high bail for Deats.

On May 29, 2013, Deats allegedly threatened another person. He was accused of displaying "what appeared to be a black pistol in his waistband." He was accused of threatening to shoot the other person. The person said in a statement to police that Deats called him a "chomo" (child molester) and a rapist. There were further words exchanged and insults thrown out. About five or 10 minutes later, Deats reportedly came back and displayed the handle of what looked like a 9mm stuck in his waistband, the man said. He quoted Deats saying, "Do you want me to shoot you? I could shoot you." Then the police showed up and Deats went back to his house. Three witnesses provided statements in the case. Deats was charged with menacing and harassment.

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