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Massena man sentenced to time served for purse caper conviction


MASSENA - A Massena man currently held at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility on a parole detainer, originally charged with a felony count in June for stealing his housemate’s purse, was sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to a violation.

Village police had charged Michael D. Slavin, 59, of 38 Bridges Ave., Massena, with fourth-degree grand larceny at 1:04 a.m. June 26. He reportedly stole Gail Goodenough’s purse, which contained her credit card. Prosecutors had filed a motion earlier this fall reducing the felony count to a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson sentenced Slavin to time served and ordered him to pay a $125 surcharge after he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied the petit larceny charge as well as a fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon count stemming from that same incident. The Massena man has been in custody since his arrest on June 26.

Police found a .22 calibre pellet gun and a .22 calibre rifle at his residence when they were investigating the domestic dispute complaint that culminated with the purse theft. Slavin, a convicted felon, is not allowed to possess weapons.

He had been sentenced to two to four years in state prison in December 2011 for a second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument conviction. The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website says Slavin was last released from prison in October 2012.

St. Lawrence County Conflict Public Defender Nicole A. Sabasowitz told the court Slavin’s parole hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Larry J. Tassie, 49, of 49 1/2 Maple St., Lot 33, was sentenced to 90 days in the county jail and ordered to pay a $205 surcharge after pleading guilty to a petit larceny count.

He has been incarcerated since Nov. 10 when he was picked up on a bench warrant issued by the village court after he failed to appear for several scheduled court appearances.

“I think it was just an error on his behalf of not notifying our office when he moved,” Ms. Sabasowitz suggested.

“It was just a misunderstanding,” Tassie assured the court.

The village justice, noting Tassie also has an outstanding warrant from the Utica area, wasn’t swayed by their arguments.

“It might just be a misunderstanding, but Mr. Tassie has been coming to court off and on since 1982,” Mr. Gustafson pointed out.

Ms. Sabasowitz also noted her client has health issues that could be better addressed if he was under probation supervision rather than incarcerated.

“Looking at your rather lengthy criminal history probation doesn’t make much sense for you,” the village justice noted before imposing the jail sentence.

Village police had charged Tassie with petit larceny on Jan. 28 stemming from an investigation into the theft of $350 from a wallet inadvertently left on the counter at Price Chopper on Dec. 9. Tassie reportedly found Joseph Reardon’s wallet and took $350 from it.

■ Jessica J. Kerr, 33, of 726 Lake St., Ogdensburg, pleaded guilty to attempted petit larceny. The court directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Jan. 21.

Village police had charged Daniel S. Rixon, 50, of 210 Denny St., Ogdensburg, and Kerr with petit larceny at 6:49 p.m. Aug. 25 after they allegedly shoplifted $504.79 worth of merchandise from the Massena Walmart. Police said the duo placed multiple items on a tote in a shopping cart - ranging from shoes to children’s clothing and from laundry soap to paper towels - and then walked past the store’s last point of sale without paying for the merchandise.

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