CANTON — An Ogdensburg man who was charged with the attempted murder of a Brooklyn man took a plea deal Wednesday in exchange for a prison plea that will not include life behind bars.
Dylan A. Arquitt, 27, of 223 Gates St., pleaded guilty in St. Lawrence County Court to first-degree assault, a violent felony, in a plea deal with the district attorney’s office.
Indicted with codefendant Ronald B. Redmond III, 26, of 822 Congress St., Ogdensburg, the two men were each charged with a count of second-degree attempted murder; two counts of first-degree burglary; three counts of first-degree assault; two counts of first-degree attempted robbery; and one count of second-degree assault.
Arquitt, who was additionally charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder, was facing life in prison, had he been convicted at trial, but now, as part of the plea deal, he will be sentenced to nine years in prison with five years of post-release supervision. He was also allowed to be released under probation supervisions electronic home monitoring until his sentencing, in which no date has been set.
If he fails to follow his release conditions, he could still be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.
Arquitt told the court that on Feb. 3 at 921 Caroline St., Ogdensburg, he and Redmond entered the home of Brandon Dority with the intent to commit a crime and while in the home, attempted to forcibly steal drugs from Mr. Watford.
Arquitt told County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards that Redmond did not have a gun at the time of the crime and that he had a .22 caliber rifle that he fired through a door at the residence with the intent to get more drugs “but whatever happened, happened” and used the rifle to shoot whoever was on the other side.
Arquitt tried to argue with the court that Mr. Watford, as a previously convicted felon, was illegally in possession of a gun, but Judge Richards wasn’t hearing the complaint, as he cited case law that showed Mr. Watford was a guest in Mr. Dority’s home and had the right to use deadly force to defend himself when he was being robbed.
Moreover, the 34-year-old Mr. Watford was originally charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, and second-degree criminal impersonation, a class A misdemeanor. Police said he provided multiple false names and was in possession of a loaded firearm despite having been convicted of a previous felony.
His case was being handled in Franklin County by special prosecutors, as he was the victim, but Assistant ADA Joshua A. HaberkornHalm, who was handling the case, said those charges were dismissed after he granted Mr. Watford immunity for willingly cooperating in the prosecution of Arquitt and Redmond.
According to the initial police report, it was just before noon on Feb. 3, when two masked men allegedly stormed into a home at 921 Caroline St. and shot a person in an upstairs room.
Ogdensburg police said patrols responded to the location and discovered multiple individuals in the residence, one of whom was Mr. Watford. He was found with a single gunshot wound to the neck, was transported to Canton-Potsdam Hospital by Ogdensburg Rescue, was treated and later released.
Ogdensburg police said uninvolved witnesses were able to provide a description of the vehicle used by Arquitt and Redmond, and as a result authorities were able to locate the suspect vehicle and identify and locate two men alleged to have been involved in the shooting.
Redmond remains in St. Lawrence County jail without bail and is also being held on unrelated charges of felony third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine and the misdemeanors of two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and obstructing firefighting operations in connection with a June 11 arrest. He also has a warrant for his arrest issued from Florida, his attorney, Denice M. Smith, Massena, said.