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St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center homicide suspect has a history of violence, assault charges

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OGDENSBURG — The man suspected of killing a St. Lawrence County Psychiatric Center patient in May has a long history of violent crimes, including a manslaughter conviction in 1972, according to St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain.

Ms. Rain identified Jose Miranda, 63, of the Bronx, as the man who allegedly attacked Robert D. Harrienger II, 58, about 6 p.m. May 12 in the center’s Trinity Building. Mr. Harrienger died of his injuries the next day in a Syracuse hospital.

Mr. Miranda has not been charged. Ms. Rain said her office and Ogdensburg police are treating the death of Mr. Harrienger as a homicide investigation.

“Mr. Miranda is the only person we are looking at for this crime,” Ms. Rain said Wednesday. “We have to determine whether to charge him before we go to a grand jury. He will have the opportunity to testify in front of the grand jury, if he wishes.”

Mr. Miranda was a patient at the center, according to the state Office of Mental Health. After the assault, he was transferred to a state psychiatric center in Marcy.

“He is already in state custody, so there is no need to rush to a particular charge,” Ms. Rain said. “We have time to sit down and conduct our investigation. But we could still decide to charge him in the meantime. City police and our office are still discussing charges.”

Mr. Miranda has a “long, extensive” criminal history dating back to the 1970s, Ms. Rain said.

In 1972, he was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter, a class B felony. He initially was charged with murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. He was released in 1979.

In 1979, he was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a class E felony.

In 1994, he was sentenced to 3 to 6 years for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C felony.

He was released four years later.

In 1998, he was sentenced to 1½ to 3 years for third-degree burglary, a class E felony.

In August 2012, he was sentenced to 1 to 3 years for second-degree attempted assault, a class E felony. He was released April 4.

Mr. Harrienger’s obituary said he was a general laborer in the garage of the psychiatric center for 20 years until retiring because of disability. He was a native of Adams.

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