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Massena man sentenced to jail for stealing TV from Walmart

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MASSENA - A 23-year-old Massena man has been sentenced to serve 10 days in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility for stealing a television from the Walmart store in Massena.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson also ordered Preston Premo to pay a $205 surcharge and a $50 fee to submit his DNA sample to the state database after he pleaded guilty to attempted petit larceny in a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors. He was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge with a stipulation he show up at the jail at 6 p.m. Friday sober and not under the influence of drugs to begin serving his jail sentence.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Alison B. Appleby had urged the court not to sentence her client to jail.

“It looks like he has been successful on probation in the past. He is a good candidate for probation or a conditional discharge,” she suggested. “He works a full-time job, a lot of hours, and is the sole provider in his home. If he is incarcerated, he will lose his job.”

Mr. Gustafson said he had considered Premo’s employment status when he fashioned a sentence that means the Massena man will only need to miss a few days of work.

“I’m going to give you a little bit of a chance. But the conditions of the conditional discharge are you show up at the jail sober, not under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drugs. If that is not the case, we will hold a hearing, and you could be going to jail for significantly longer than 10 days,” the village justice warned Premo.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Javier Rivera, 43, of 157 Town Line Road, Massena, was fined $25 and a $125 surcharge after a second-degree criminal trespass count was reduced to attempted second-degree criminal trespass. The fine and surcharge were reduced to a civil judgment.

“He’s state ready. He doesn’t have a penny to his name,” defense attorney Thomas Finnerty told the court.

Village police had charged Rivera with second-degree criminal trespass July 10 after he allegedly refused to leave the Jackie Davis residence, Jefferson Avenue, Massena, after several requests.

In a statement Ms. Davis made to police, she said she was upstairs at her house at about 3:30 p.m. July 9 when Rivera came into her residence through the back door.

“He hasn’t lived here in four and a half months, and I pay the deed on the residence,” she said.

She told police that Rivera came upstairs and asked her “to work this out. I told Javier to leave multiple times and he did not do so. He then got louder with his words and woke up my baby daughter, who was downstairs sleeping. My daughter then walked upstairs to where we were and then Javier decided to leave.”

She said Rivera left but came back about two hours later and started a confrontation with her friend, Kashawn Simon. At that point, Ms. Davis said, she called the police and Rivera again left.

Rivera also provided police with a statement, noting that he had gone to Ms. Davis’s house to talk with her at about 3:30 p.m.

“I was walking towards the back porch when she met me and told me to leave her house and then I left. I had a gut feeling that a guy was coming back to her house to see her. I came back to the house and had a verbal argument with him and then I left,” he wrote in his statement to police.

Rivera was returned to the county jail, where he is being held by the New York state Division of Parole and Community Supervision on a parole violation. He is being returned to state prison. He had been sentenced in February 2008 in New York County to five years in state prison for a conviction on three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He was last released from the Willard Substance Abuse Treatment Program on Nov. 20, 2012. The maximum expiration date of his sentence is May 1, 2014.

■ Kenneth A. Ward, 28, of 72A state Route 37C, Massena, was fined $25 and a $125 surcharge for unlawful possession of marijuana and a $125 surcharge for a disorderly conduct violation.

Village police had charged Ward with the two violations at 10:25 p.m. June 26 following an investigation into an alleged domestic dispute at his residence. Police said Ward failed to comply with numerous requests from police officers to alter his behavior. When he was being taken into custody on the disorderly conduct charge, he was found to be in possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana.

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