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Appellate court upholds witness intimidation, endangering convictions of Watertown man

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A state appellate court Friday upheld the conviction of a Watertown man for intimidating a witness and endangering the welfare of a child stemming from an assault on his fiancée in 2008.

Anthony J. Holmes, 33, was found guilty in April 2009 in Jefferson County Court of two counts of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and two counts of felony third-degree intimidating a witness. The jury also found him guilty of endangering the welfare of a child. It acquitted Mr. Holmes of the top count of second-degree assault.

The jury found that testimony provided by Sarah E. Smith and her friend Krista Feuerstein was credible when they testified that Mr. Holmes had struck Ms. Smith in the face Sept. 3 at a West Main Street apartment and then stomped on her head with his foot. Both women also testified that Mr. Holmes threatened to kill them if they told anyone about the incident and told them to tell police that Ms. Smith’s injuries arose when Miss Feuerstein elbowed her while the woman were roughhousing.

Ms. Smith suffered three broken bones in her face, including her nose, as a result of the punch.

Mr. Holmes appealed the witness intimidation and endangering convictions to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, contending that there was insufficient evidence to support the convictions. Mr. Holmes maintained that it was never proven that the child was in the room at the time of the assault or that the child was harmed. The court rejected those arguments, stating there was sufficient evidence for the jury to return a guilty verdict, finding similarly on the witness intimidation charge.

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