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Massena man faces year in county jail following assault plea

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MASSENA - A Massena man charged with beating a visitor at his home on two separate occasions over a six-month period will be sentenced to one year in the county jail after entering guilty pleas to two assault counts.

Cory A. Tuper, 28, of 111 Woodlawn Ave., Massena, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree assault in a plea bargain that satisfied several other charges pending from the two incidents.

St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Michael Gebo confirmed for the court that the plea bargain agreement including a commitment that Tuper would be sentenced to concurrent terms of one year in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility for each assault conviction.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for May 20. He sent Tuper back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, where he has been held since his arrest on Dec. 31.

Village police had charged Tuper with third-degree assault and unlawful possession of marijuana after responding to his apartment at approximately 4:40 p.m. Dec. 31.

Tuper was additionally charged with resisting arrest and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.

According to his statement to police, Mark S. Lefrancois, 45, of 207 Water St., Fort Jackson, was assaulted by Tuper as he was attempting to leave after having a few drinks at the apartment with Patti Snyder.

“At around 10:30 a.m. I went over to Patti Snyder’s apartment at 111 Woodlawn Ave. in Massena. I spent a few hours drinking at Patti’s,” he said. “Shortly before the police arrived Patti told me that I was not going to stay all day drinking.”

As he then attempted to leave the apartment, Mr. Lefrancois said the problems began.

“I started to leave Patti’s house and Cory Tuper told me to ‘Get the ... out of here,’” he recalled. “Cory grabbed a hold of me and started to punch me. I fell to the floor and Cory continued to punch me. I told Cory to stop hitting me. Patti also told Cory to stop hitting me and he did not. Cory had me pinned to the floor and wouldn’t let me get up and leave.”

At that point Mr. Lefrancois said, Ms. Snyder called the police, who arrived while Mr. Lefrancois was still there.

“The police asked Cory what was going on and he started fighting with them,” Mr. Lefrancois said. “The police officers arrested Cory and he still fought with them.”

Mr. Lefrancois also noted the police contacted the Massena Volunteer Rescue Squad, who were dispatched to the scene and took him to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Tuper had been charged with a felony count of second-degree assault following an incident on Oct. 2 after police responded to his residence for a report of a male seeking transport to the hospital for treatment of injuries he had suffered in an altercation. Prosecutors later made a motion reducing the felony count to a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault.

Mr. Lefrancois told police on that occasion Tuper had punched him twice in the face and then kicked him approximately a dozen times in the face after he fell to the floor. Police said Mr. Lefrancois was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital by Massena Rescue. He reportedly suffered numerous contusions and was bleeding from his eye at the scene of the altercation.

Mr. Lefrancois said he had been invited into the residence by Ms. Snider, but Tuper ordered him to leave. He said Ms. Snider again told him he could stay before Tuper attacked him.

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