Judge stays sentences for protesters
Five anti-war protesters sentenced last week for staging a sit-in at the office of U.S. Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl Jr. in August have had their sentences delayed.
Supreme Court Judge Marianne Furfure suspended the sentences for 120 days so the defendants could appeal their convictions.
The defendants, Daniel J. Burns, 47; Ellen Grady, 44; Richard “Tadd” Saddler, 42; Mark C. Scibilia-Carver, 54; and Christopher Tate, 46; are expected back in court on April 1.
The defendants are all from the Ithaca area and were found guilty of criminal trespass, a misdemeanor,
The defendants’ attorney, Ray Schlather, told Furfure the stay was necessary since the sentences would have concluded before an appeal could take place.
The defendants were among a number of people delivering a petition to Kuhl with 3,000 signatures asking him to vote against more funding for the war in Iraq.
The five protesters refused to leave Kuhl’s Bath district office on Buell Street on Aug. 6 after being asked twice by the congressman's staff to go because it was closing for the day.
All five were found guilty after a two-day jury trial Sept. 9 and offered conditional discharges on Nov. 30 by Bath Village Justice Chauncey Watches.
Watches ordered Burns, Grady, Saddler and Tate to each perform 30 hours of community service and pay $300 apiece in court fees and fines within a four-month period.
But before he was sentenced, Scibilia-Carver told Watches he would not accept the terms of the sentencing offered to the others, and was ordered to serve 30 days in the Steuben County Jail. He was released on his own recognizance on Monday.
The potential maximum sentence for the charge is up to 90 days in jail and $500 in fines.