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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Winthrop teen pleads not guilty in alleged assault of lacrosse player


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

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

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

Mr. Bicknell will be arraigned on the charge Friday.

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

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

The judge ordered that Mr. Vallance be tested for drugs by probation officials. He tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Judge Richards released him under the supervision of probation, but not without a warning.

“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,” Judge Richards said.

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.

He originally was indicted for allegedly engaging in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a 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, he was to plead guilty to the lesser charge. In court Tuesday, he backed out of that deal.

Judge Richards has scheduled the case for trial starting on Dec. 9. Brown was released under probation supervision.

Andrew J. LeBoeuf, 21, of 46 Law Lane, Canton, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for first-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony.

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

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

Kyle E. Simon, 19, of 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 district attorney’s office.

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

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

Sentencing was adjourned to Dec. 2. and he was released under probation supervision.

Jennifer L. Smithers, 37, of 318 Center Road, Ogdensburg, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny, a class E felony.

Ms. Smithers admitted to the theft of $9,554.13 through cashing bad checks and electronic transfers in 2012 and 2013.

She was released under probation supervision and sentencing was adjourned to 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, a class D violent felony.

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

Sentencing was adjourned to Sept. 29.

Malik A. McConico, 20, Corona, Queens, was placed on one year of interim probation supervision after an Aug. 5 guilty plea to third-degree attempted burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny.

On Feb. 27, Mr. 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 and probation supervision was transferred to New York City.

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