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Man gets probation over sword threats

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CANTON — A Potsdam man who threatened to cut his uncle’s head off with a sword was sentenced to a total of eight years’ probation Tuesday by St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards in connection with that case and a driving while intoxicated plea.

The judge said Mohamed R. “Ray” Bourhouat, 26, of 37 Waverly St., Apt. 1, a Moroccan citizen, also must complete outpatient addiction treatment here before he will consider transferring probation outside of the county. Mr. Bourhouat’s lawyer, Verner M. Ingram Jr., said his client was looking to relocate to live with relatives out of the area.

“He is clean,” Mr. Ingram said of Mr. Bourhouat, who did complete inpatient treatment.

But probation officials do not “recommend he be permitted to move until he completes all substance-abuse treatment,” the judge said. “I see a defendant who continues to think that he can do things his own way.”

Mr. Bourhouat pleaded guilty in October to misdemeanor DWI and second-degree attempted assault, a class E felony.

Police said in August that he arrived at 6 Berkley Drive armed with a sword and attempted to assault Alex Bennani. Mr. Bennani reportedly attempted to take the sword away from Mr. Bourhouat and in the struggle suffered what police described as significant cuts to his fingers.

Mr. Bourhouat is to serve five years’ probation on the assault charge as well as three years’ probation for the DWI, and is ordered to pay $1,770 in fines and fees.

In other court action Tuesday:

Justin L. Chalupa, 22, of 91 E. Main St., Gouverneur, entered a not-guilty plea to two counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of petit larceny and third-degree criminal trespass. He was indicted last month in connection with break-ins at a home on Route 22 in Fowler, a Bressett Road home in the town of Gouverneur and a National Grid power station in Fowler. Assistant District Attorney Joshua Haberkornhalm said the people are prepared for trial.

Bethany A. Barr, 25, of 129 Patterson St., Ogdensburg, was sentenced to five-years’ probation after pleading guilty in October to one count of aggravated DWI. She also was ordered to pay $2,570 in fines and fees.

Nolan P. Mitchell, 24, of 6 Maple St., Norfolk, was sentenced to five years’ probation after pleading guilty in October to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He admitted he sold an undisclosed amount of OxyContin on Oct. 7, 2011, in the village of Massena.

The judge did make one concession, amending the probation terms to allow Mr. Mitchell to return to a previous job at a bar and restaurant, despite prohibitions on entering facilities that serve alcohol, after management praised his performance and expressed a desire to have him return.

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