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Akwesasne man pleads guilty to to reduced count for his role in bar assault


MASSENA - A 29-year-old Akwesasne man will be sentenced in December after pleading guilty to an attempted assault count during an appearance in Massena Village Court.

Jason R. Thomas pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted assault. Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Dec. 17.

Defense attorney H. Dana Van Hee had sought a commitment from the court to sentence Thomas to no worse than a probationary sentence, but Mr. Gustafson said he would only agree to sentence the Akwesasne man to no worse than the recommendation made in the pre-sentence report.

Thomas was one of two Akwesasne men charged with third-degree assault after they were allegedly involved in an altercation with another man in the early morning hours March 14, 2010 at Friar Tuck’s. Village police said David J. Square and Thomas attacked Andrew Brooks inside the bar.

Police said one of the men punched Mr. Brooks in the back of the head and when he fell to the ground both men allegedly repeatedly kicked him. Brooks was treated at Massena Memorial Hospital for bruising to his ribs and head.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Lawrence B. Brooks, 32, of 116 Woodlawn Ave., Massena, pleaded guilty to petit larceny in a plea bargain agreement. The court directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Dec. 17.

Village police had charged Brooks with fourth-degree grand larceny - credit card and petit larceny in the early morning hours of Feb. 27 after he reportedly took a debit card without the permission of its owner, a woman described in court papers from the time of the incident as his girlfriend.

Brooks told police he waited until Heather Kellogg fell asleep, took her debit card out of her wallet and replaced it with is own and then went to an ATM and withdrew $300. “The money is gone because I spent it,” Brooks said in the statement he signed for police. “I spent it, and I’d rather not say what I spent it on.”

Police received the complaint from Ms. Kellogg at 2:45 a.m. Feb. 27, and Brooks was arrested at 5:12 a.m. that same day.

Prosecutors had previously filed a motion to have the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor count of petit larceny.

■ Zachary R. Martin, 23, of 6757 Route 56, Apt. 6, Potsdam, admitted he had violated the conditions of his probationary sentence by failing to complete recommended treatment and smoking marijuana.

Mr. Gustafson had fined Martin (-Flanders) $100 and a $205 surcharge and placed him on probation for three years in February for a second-degree reckless endangerment conviction.

He reportedly refused to give a urine sample and admitted he had smoked marijuana when he met with his probation officer the next month. Probation department officials, in a report prepared for the court, said Martin had successfully completed an in-patient treatment program in early May but had rejected a request to enter a halfway house.

Mr. Gustafson warned Martin in February he was willing to give him a chance on probation, but he warned the former Massena man he would face substantial jail time if he violated the terms of his sentence.

Village police had charged Martin following an incident on the morning of Jan. 8, 2012.

Police said they responded to a Sunday morning domestic dispute call at Martin’s residence at 29 Martin St., where he lived at the time with his mother and stepfather.

He reportedly ran out of the house, jumped in a vehicle, refused to follow a patrolman’s order to exit the vehicle and then accelerated the engine, backing out of the driveway and nearly striking the police officer, who was standing near the back of the vehicle.

He also allegedly had unplugged the phones inside the residence after his parents told him they were calling the police during the domestic dispute.

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