AUBURN | Joshua LaClair said he arrived at Cayuga County Jail last Friday — just as his sentence for three felony charges required.
But after waiting 20 minutes at the jail and suffering a panic attack, LaClair said he decided to leave and headed back to his Auburn home and his three young daughters.
In Cayuga County Court Tuesday morning, LaClair was admonished for playing hooky.
Norm Chirco, the defendant's attorney, said he talked to LaClair about his mistake.
"He knew it was wrong, but he was worried about his kids," Chirco said.
LaClair, of 19 Frazee St., was previously convicted of third-degree grand larceny, third-degree welfare fraud and misuse of more than $1,000 worth of food stamps and ordered to serve four months of weekends in jail.
After discovering LaClair allegedly missed two weekends in jail so far, Judge Mark Fandrich told the defendant he needed to stop making mistakes.
"I don't want to take you away from your young girls," Fandrich said. "But at the same time, I can't keep giving you bite after bite of the apple without consequences."
Fandrich remanded LaClair into custody, giving District Attorney Jon Budelmann time to verify the defendant's story.
"I don't like sending people to prison, especially people with small kids," Fandrich told LaClair. "But you can't keep hiding behind those small kids."
Also in court:
• Michael Pado II was sentenced to serve five years probation and complete 100 hours of community service for stealing a woman's credit card to purchase synthetic marijuana.
In July, the 26-year-old Auburn man pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, admitting to the March theft.
Budelmann said Pado had just split up with his wife when he started using synthetic marijuana to deal with his problems.
Along with his ordered sentence, Pado must also pay $92.78 restitution to the victim.
• The fourth man allegedly involved in a February gang-style assault of a Montezuma man denied accusations that he broke into the victim's home intending to commit a crime.
Andrew Fahsel, of 18 Elbridge St., Jordan, pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary, a felony, denying charges he was present when his co-defendants forced their way into a Fosterville Road home and beat up Matthew Carberry.
Fahsel, 22, is currently out of custody on $10,000 cash bail.
Last week, the other three other defendants accused of burglarizing Carberry pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and gang assault.
The defendants are accused of breaking into the victim's residence after Ryan, Carberry's ex-girlfriend, and Carberry's current girlfriend got into an argument over the telephone.
• Jeffrey Weisbrod, 26, pleaded not guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and second-degree attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument, both felonies.
Weisbrod is currently serving one to three years in the Clinton Correctional Facility for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a felony. He was remanded into custody without bail.