MALONE A Chateaugay man pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Monday in Malone Town Court to allegations that he bludgeoned his father to death in February.
Dale Jarvis Jr., 24, is charged with one count of second-degree murder. He was arraigned before Malone Town Justice Michael L. Lamitie and sent to Franklin County jail without bail pending his next court appearance. He is represented by Franklin County Public Defender Thomas G. Soucia.
At the arraignment, Franklin County District Attorney Derek P. Champagne read aloud a letter dated Thursday that indicated Jarvis and Mr. Soucia had agreed Jarvis would waive his right to a speedy trial and preliminary hearing.
If convicted, Jarvis could face a term of 20 years to life in state prison.
Jarvis appeared for his arraignment shackled and dressed in an orange county jail jumpsuit. He was flanked by a Franklin County Sheriffs Department deputy, a uniformed state police officer and a state police investigator. He appeared somber, looking down at the floor most of the time, and answered Justice Lamities questions in one-word answers.
Jarvis is accused in an Aug. 27 felony complaint of killing his father, Dale Jarvis Sr., by striking him in the head with a blunt object at 12:30 a.m. Feb. 21.
Were having ongoing discussions (with prosecutors) and well take it from there, Mr. Soucia said, declining to comment further.
On July 23, the state police Troop B Forensic Investigation Unit discovered Mr. Jarvis Sr.s body buried about 5½ feet underground behind his residence at 14 White St., Chateaugay. He had been the focus of a two-week missing-person investigation.
Mr. Jarvis Sr.s disappearance was not initially reported to law enforcement because he often went away for extended periods of time with no word, Mr. Champagne said. The missing mans father, Maynard Jarvis, Churubusco, said in July that his son had not spoken to him in several years because he reported one of his disappearances to law enforcement.
Mr. Champagne said forensic investigators found Mr. Jarvis Sr.s personal documents, including his wallet and drivers license, buried about 11 feet down behind his house.
It was very readily apparent at the autopsy that blunt-force trauma was the cause of death, Mr. Champagne said.
Police discovered that in the days following the murder, Jarvis was frantically trying to repair his fathers backhoe, which he used to dig the shallow grave, Mr. Champagne said.
Mr. Champagne said he believes there was an intervening period of time between the murder and when Mr. Jarvis Sr. was buried.
Mr. Champagne said police focused on Jarvis after witnesses came forward and gave information that indicated Mr. Jarvis Sr. had been missing for months.
He said Jarvis told different family members different stories to explain his fathers whereabouts.
Mr. Jarvis Sr.s brother, Allen, said in July that Jarvis claimed to have used a backhoe to bury a mattress and box spring in the garden where the body was found.
Mr. Champagne said witnesses have said Jarvis was obsessed with the areas where the body and personal effects were buried.
Allen Jarvis said his nephew has claimed that on a night in late February, his father went outside to talk to a group of men and then left, saying he was going south.
Jarvis is to reappear at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 25 in Malone Town Court.