MALONE A subdued Dale Jarvis Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Tuesday in the death of his father, Dale Jarvis Sr.
Appearing before Franklin County Judge Robert G. Main Jr., Jarvis kept his eyes downcast throughout the proceeding, answering only, Yes, sir to all questions asked of him by the judge.
Jarvis,wearing an orange Franklin County jail-issued jumper, his hands and feet shackled, was escorted into the courtroom by Franklin County Sheriffs Department personnel Tuesday morning.
Following the plea, the judge directed the Franklin County Probation Department to complete a presentencing evaluation, which also will include a recommended sentence. Jarvis will have an opportunity to make a statement regarding the specifics of the incident, if he so chooses, during the presentencing process. In addition, members of the Jarvis family will have an opportunity to weigh in on a proposed sentence.
First-degree manslaughter carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in state prison. The maximum sentence is 25 years. Sentencing also is likely to include upwards of five years of post-release supervision, a fine not to exceed $5,000 and restitution charges that have yet to be determined.
Franklin County District Attorney Derek P. Champagne said in court Tuesday that his office has made no commitment in regard to sentencing.
The plea satisfies all charges against the defendant in connection with the death of the senior Mr. Jarvis. A tentative sentencing date has been set for Nov. 13. Meanwhile, Jarvis remains in Franklin County jail with no bail set.
On July 23, a state police forensic investigation unit discovered the elder Mr. Jarviss body buried in a garden behind his home at 14 White St., Chateaugay. Prosecutors allege that the son dug out the 5½-foot grave with a backhoe in the days or weeks after the killing. Mr. Champagne said the elder Mr. Jarviss personal effects, including his wallet and identification, were found at a second dig site on the property, buried about 11 feet down.
It was very readily apparent at the autopsy that blunt-force trauma was the cause of death, Mr. Champagne said.
In a press conference held after Tuesdays plea, Mr. Champagne recounted Jarviss version of events the night of Feb. 21. The son said he had been playing video games late at night when he and his father got into an argument over the noise the game was making. He said his father approached him with what appeared to be a pistol but turned out to be a pellet gun and a scuffle ensued.
As both men were battling on the ground, Jarvis said, he spotted a piece of a sledge hammer nearby. He grabbed it, he said, jumped up and hit his father once in the back of the head, killing him.
Mr. Champagne said Tuesday that this version of events is consistent with the evidence in the case.