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Former Lewis trail coordinator expected to testify tomorrow

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LOWVILLE — Following a full day of testimony Monday, Lewis County’s former recreational trail coordinator is expected to testify on his own behalf tomorrow in his larceny bench trial.

The trial of Robert C. Diehl, 43, Gardner Road, Martinsburg, began Monday before acting County Judge Donald E. Todd with a parade of 16 witnesses, most of them county officials.

Proceedings are to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday with one final defense witness, expected to be Mr. Diehl, before any final arguments by attorneys and the judge’s ruling in the matter.

Mr. Diehl is charged with third-degree attempted grand larceny, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and official misconduct, having been accused of submitting a purchase order and voucher for payment Oct. 25 for stone products from V.S. Virkler & Son, Lowville, that included $3,262.97 worth of gravel that was delivered to his residence for his personal use.

The defense, handled by attorneys Michael F. Young and Gary W. Miles, attempted to show that Mr. Diehl had displayed no criminal intent in submitting the personal bill for payment.

“It could be an accident,” Mr. Young told the judge after the prosecution had rested. “Obviously, that’s our defense.”

The defense attorney at that point requested that the case be dismissed on those grounds, as well as that none of the witnesses directly identified the defendant as a party in the matter, but Judge Todd ultimately ruled against that motion.

Assistant District Attorney Caleb J. Petzoldt argued that the intent was inherent as soon as Mr. Diehl signed off on a purchase offer with the personal bill, noting it was his responsibility to make sure things were correct.

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