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Winthrop teen pleads not guilty in alleged assault of lacrosse player


CANTON — The Winthrop teen alleged to have participated in the brutal August beating of a Clarkson University lacrosse player pleaded not guilty to the charge in St. Lawrence County Court Tuesday.

Dakota J. Vallance, 18, of 399 Buckton Road, pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree assault, a class D felony.

Vallance was indicted on Oct. 1 with codefendant Bryan A. Bicknell, 20, of 342 West Parishville Road, Parishville, for the alleged Aug. 24 assault of 21-year-old Donald J. W. Whelley which resulted in Mr. Whelley’s need for facial reconstructive surgery.

Bicknell will be arraigned on the charges at 1 p.m. Oct. 18.

St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Joshua A. HaberkornHalm recommended that Vallance be held in St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility on “reasonable bail.”

Vallance’s attorney, Public Defender Stephen D. Button, said while his client is being charged as a man, “he is still a boy” with no criminal record.

“Up to the age of 25 men tend to make boyish-childish decisions,” Mr. Button told St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards. “He has no previous record because he is a boy.”

Vallance was ordered by the judge to be tested for drugs by probation officials. He tested positive for THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical agent in marijuana.

Judge Richards released Vallance under the supervision of probation but not without warning.

“He is certainly beginning to accumulate a record,” Judge Richards told Mr. Button.

Turning to Vallance, Judge Richards said “No more chances. Either you comply with the rules or I am going to sign a warrant and you are going to be standing here in handcuffs and we aren’t going to be talking about released under probation supervision.”

In other court action Tuesday:

Frank Brown, 63, of 1162 County Route 21, Hermon, had his Aug. 6 guilty plea to endangering the welfare of a child vacated after he recanted his admission.

Brown was originally indicted for allegedly engaging in two or more acts of sexual conduct with 10-year-old child from September 2010 to May 2011 and was facing charges of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, a class D felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.

In the plea deal with the district attorney’s office, Brown was to plead guilty to the second lesser charge in that indictment. In court Tuesday he backed out of that deal.

Judge Richards has scheduled the case for trial starting at 1 p.m. Dec. 9. Brown was released under probation supervision.

Andrew J. LeBoeuf, 21, of 46 Law Lane, Canton, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for first-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony.

Leboeuf broke into another Law Lane apartment on March 14, where he grabbed the woman, pushed her into wall and head-butted her. At the time of arrest police said he was ordered to leave several times but refused.

In addition to his sentence, Judge Richards sentenced Mr. Leboeuf to five years of post-release parole. He was also ordered to pay $29.50 in restitution and $1,425 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Kyle E. Simon, 19, 266 Driscoll Road, Brasher, pleaded guilty to a reduced count of second-degree attempted rape, a class E felony after reaching a plea deal with the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s office.

On Nov. 21, Simon, then 18, had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl.

Prior to the plea deal, Simons had been indicted by a St. Lawrence County grand jury for second-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly giving the girl marijuana.

Sentencing was adjourned to 9:15 a.m. Dec. 2, and Simon was released under probation supervision.

Daniel P. LaTray, 33, of Gouverneur, one of the 10 Northern New York residents indicted in an Oct. 8 drug round up, was released from St. Lawrence County jail on $20,000 bond.

LaTray pleaded not guilty that day to three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is accused of selling morphine pills on three occasions in June and August.

Jennifer L. Smithers, 37, of 318 Center Road, Ogdensburg, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny. Smithers admitted to Judge Richards she had stolen $9,554.13 through cashing bad checks and electronic transfers between the dates of Feb. 5, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013.

She was released under probation supervision and sentencing was adjourned to 9:15 a.m. Dec. 9.

Robert L. Daniels II, 19, of 268 County Route 12, Gouverneur, was placed on one year of interim probation supervision after his July 12 guilty plea to third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

On March 28,. Daniels entered a home on Little Bow Road, where he stole nine firearms worth about $750, troopers said at the time of his arrest.

If he successfully completes his interim probation, Daniels will be given the opportunity to earn youthful offender status.

Sentencing was adjourned to 9:15 a.m. Sept. 29, 2014.

Malik A. McConico, 20, of 9840 57th St., Apt. 11M, Corona, was placed on one year of interim probation supervision after and Aug. 5 guilty plea to third-degree attempted burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny. On Feb. 27, McConico told the judge he unlawfully entered the dorm room of Erin O’Mahoney with the intent of stealing an Apple laptop computer valued at $1,099.

Sentencing was adjourned to Sept. 22, 2014, and probation supervision was transferred to New York City.

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