Judge praises woman for addiction recovery

CANTON — An Ogdensburg woman was celebrated Monday in St. Lawrence County Court for overcoming her addictions.

Casey L. Ritchie, 24, of 1500 Knox St., successfully completed one year of interim probation for felony third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine and was sentenced to four years of probation, having been given credit for one year in a plea deal with the district attorney’s office.

On Feb. 15 in the village of Massena, Ms. Ritchie had two or more items of lab equipment and two or more precursors, chemical reagents or solvents for making meth.

With tears in her eyes, Ms. Ritchie thanked County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards for “saving my life,” saying had it not been for treatment and the chance the court gave her, she didn’t know where her life would have been.

Judge Richards commended her and told her it wasn’t the chance she was given that saved her life but what she did what that chance.

In addition to her probation sentence, she was ordered to pay $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges. She also had satisfied two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and one count of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument, as well as pending charges in Queens County.

In other court action Monday:

Marcus A. McCullough, 26, an inmate at the St. Lawrence County jail, was sentenced to three years in prison with two years of post-release supervision for his July 1 guilty plea to attempted third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in a plea deal with the district attorney’s office.

The deal also satisfied two additional counts of felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The indictment charged on Feb. 26 in the city of Ogdensburg, Mr. McCullough and Anthony E. Parente, 22, possessed heroin and cocaine with the intent to sell them, the heroin having an aggregate weight of one-half ounce or more.

In addition to his prison sentence, Mr. McCullough had $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges paid for out of the $1,612 that he forfeited to the D.A.’s office.

Seameon L. Perry, 38, an inmate at the St. Lawrence County jail, was sentenced as a second-felony offender to five years in prison for his July 9 guilty plea to felony attempted third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was also sentenced to three years of post-release supervision.

He was previously convicted on June 19, 2015 in Jefferson County Court for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Sir Murray, 27, an inmate at the Great Meadows Correctional Facility, Comstock, sought to have his July 11 guilty plea to felony attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance withdrawn, telling the court that he believed his plea was not made knowingly and voluntarily.

Mr. Murray was denied that request and Judge Richards told him he was getting the plea deal he bargained for despite the fact that he pleaded to an indictment as opposed to a Superior Court Information and that his request to testify was shot down by his attorney.

As part of the original deal, he pleaded guilty to the charge in exchange for the minimum two-year prison sentence with post-release supervision. Mr. Murray said he thought he was pleading to the SCI, not an indictment and that he wanted to testify before the grand jury. That decision wasn’t his to make and was up to his attorney, in this case, the public defender’s office, the judge said.

He was charged in the indictment with two counts of first-degree promoting prison contraband and one count of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The indictment charges on two separate occasions on Aug. 18, while confined in an Ogdensburg correctional facility, Mr. Murray made, obtained or possessed dangerous contraband as well as suboxone with the intent to sell it.

Judge Richards said the plea will remain in place and relieved the public defender’s office from representing Mr. Murray. The case was adjourned without date and Mr. Murray will be assigned new counsel to review his request.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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