CANTON — A New York City man, who was scheduled to have a hearing Friday morning in St. Lawrence County Court for a prison contraband charge, had his hearing adjourned pending a potential substitution of representation.
Lawrence Hackshaw, 37, an inmate at Mid-State Correctional Facility, Marcy, previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree promoting prison contraband, and with his attorney, St. Lawrence County Public Defender James M. McGahan, and the district attorney’s office, had been preparing for trial.
Mr. Hackshaw is also listed on the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website as Lawerence Hackshaw and Laurence Hackshaw.
Due to the new bail reform that took effect Jan. 1, Mr. Hackshaw was — on paper — released on his own recognizance on the prison contraband charge until his next scheduled court appearance for a hearing regarding that charge, though he was remanded to Mid-State to continue serving an unrelated sentence.
“The court questions whether this is the most prudent way to go, but I have no option,” County Court Judge Derek P. Champagne said.
Based on the new statute, promoting prison contraband is not a qualifying offense to be held on monetary bail, Judge Champagne said, even though the offense requires a person to already be incarcerated to be indicted on the charge.
Mr. Hackshaw has been serving a sentence of 3½ to seven years on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, since May 2015.
The court received an unofficial notice of a change in Mr. Hackshaw’s representation Thursday evening via a phone call from attorney David P. Antonucci, Watertown. Judge Champagne told the court Mr. Antonucci said he had been retained to defend Mr. Hackshaw on Thursday, though no formal paperwork had been filed with the court at that time.
Judge Champagne adjourned the case to Jan. 22 for a hearing and advised Mr. Hackshaw to urge Mr. Antonucci to file the proper materials to facilitate a change in representation. The court scheduled Mr. Hackshaw’s trial for the week of Jan. 27.