AUBURN | Two issues were were addressed Thursday during Brandon Hinman's appearance in Cayuga County Court.
The first dealt with the $2,500 cash bail posted by the 32-year-old Weedsport man and initially assigned to Eileen Walsh, Hinman's first defense attorney. Walsh was relieved from the case after she twice told the court Hinman was not communicating or cooperating with her.
The bail was reassigned to Rome Canzano, Hinman's current attorney.
After questions surrounding Hinman's bail were resolved, Canzano summarized the second issue: His client missed his first scheduled appointment with the Cayuga County Probation Department.
"There's been some miscommunication with the probation department," Canzano said. "I would just beg the court's indulgence and the probation department's indulgence on that."
Hinman had been scheduled to meet with probation for a presentence investigation in advance of June 18, when he will be sentenced for forging checks and stealing $45,300 from a bank account containing donations meant to support his late wife, Jenna Hinman, and his twin daughters.
If he pays $30,000 worth of restitution by sentencing, Hinman faces no worse than six months in the Cayuga County Jail and five years probation. The defendant must also successfully complete felony drug treatment court.
Judge Thomas Leone, noting Hinman's past history of missing appointments and showing up late to court, ordered Hinman to immediately meet with probation.
"Hopefully you're getting ready to turn that corner," Leone said.
Hinman's family was introduced to international audiences in March 2014 after Jenna Hinman, a Port Byron native, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after prematurely giving birth to twin daughters.
As doctors placed Jenna Hinman in a medically induced coma and attempted to treat her choriocarcinoma, people across the world donated money to the Hinman family to help cover the costs of the 26-year-old mother's medical bills and support her twin girls.
After Jenna Hinman's untimely death, police discovered Hinman had been forging and cashing checks from an account meant to hold the donations.
He pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument on April 14, admitting he used the money for "purposes that were not intended for my daughters."