AUBURN — While pleading guilty to first-degree burglary Thursday in Cayuga County Court, Leslie McLeod had one request for the judge: more time on post-release supervision.
The 44-year-old had agreed to admit to the class B felony in exchange for six years in prison and five years post-release supervision. But for the first time in Judge Thomas Leone's career, a defendant asked for additional supervision upon his release from prison.
McLeod, of 9 John St. Apt. 1, said he hoped to extend his supervision period from five to years to 10 to help him stay on top of his mental health.
In court Thursday, McLeod claimed he suffered from a hallucination on April 28, which led him to a dwelling on Clark Street Road in the town of Aurelius. When he arrived at the home, he said, he kicked in a window and threatened the resident with a knife.
"I went in with the purpose of threatening this individual," he said, noting that he knew what he was doing when he broke in.
McLeod could have faced up to 25 years in prison for the crime; however, the Cayuga County District Attorney's Office extended an offer of six years in prison and five years post-release supervision. Unfortunately, Leone said, the maximum post-release supervision he could impose was five years, meaning he could not increase the term at McLeod's request.
McLeod was remanded to Cayuga County Jail without bail. His sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 13.
Also in court
• A 23-year-old man will serve additional time in prison for assaulting an inmate at Auburn Correctional Facility last fall.
Thursday morning, Shaquan Graham pleaded guilty to first-degree promoting prison contraband and second-degree assault, both class D felonies. During his plea, he admitted to possessing a razor on Oct. 2, which he used to attack a fellow inmate at Auburn prison.
Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said Graham used the razor to inflict a 4-inch wound on another inmate's face. He said the victim had been sitting down watching television when he was attacked from behind.
Graham was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2017 for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Onondaga County. He could face an additional seven years in prison for the assault, but will likely receive a total of fives years in prison and five years post-release supervision to run consecutively to his current term.
Following the attack at ACF, Graham was transferred to Orleans Correctional Facility. He will remain in custody there pending sentencing Sept. 20.
• An Auburn man was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for possessing crack cocaine with the intent to sell.
Earlier this year, Antonio Pesante, 52, of 4 Derby Ave., pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony. At the time, he admitted to possessing 8.2 grams of crack cocaine, which he intended to sell in the community.
At first, the district attorney said Pesante was "remarkably candid" with police and he was impressed with his honesty in the investigation. However, Budelmann said Pesante recently appeared to step back from his initial statements, claiming he possessed the drugs for personal use.
According to Budelmann, Pesante was arrested in March when police found some cocaine in the center console of his car. Then, while held at the Cayuga County jail, Pesante reportedly passed several balls of cocaine, which he had previously ingested.
Pesante has an extensive history of drugs and domestic violence dating back to 1983, Budelmann said. He was most recently convicted of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in 2005 in Ontario County, where he was sentenced to six years in prison.
Pesante's defense attorney, Ryan Muldoon, said Pesante was a "full-blown drug dealer at one point," but argued that he was recently selling drugs to support his own habit. Pesante noted that he "fell back to drugs" after his sister passed away earlier this year.
"I'm not gonna say that I'm an angel because I'm not," he said. "I want to just move on."
Pesante was ultimately sentenced to six years in prison and three years post-release supervision.
• An Auburn woman pleaded guilty to a felony Thursday for punching a woman in the face.
Reisha Overstreet, 24, of 2 Palm Dr., pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal contempt, a class E felony. During her plea, she said she violated an order of protection by hitting the protected party in the face during an altercation in May.
A second felony offender, Overstreet could face up to four years in prison. However, she will likely receive 1 1/2 to three years in prison. She will also be sentenced to one to three years in prison for violating the terms and conditions of her probation. That will run concurrently to her sentence for contempt.
Overstreet was remanded to Cayuga County Jail. Her sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 13.
• A Cayuga County man who was previously convicted of criminal possession of a weapon admitted illegally possessing several shotguns and rifles while on probation.
Michael Podolak, 33, of 4469 Twelve Corners Road, Niles, was convicted of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in January 2016 and sentenced to three years probation in Onondaga County. At the time, he admitted possessing a long gun near school property in Skaneateles, claiming he forgot to remove his hunting gear from his vehicle.
According to the Cayuga County Probation Department, Podolak had been fairly compliant throughout his probation, submitting negative screens for drugs and alcohol and reporting to his probation officer. However, there were a couple hiccups along the way.
Probation Officer Nicholas Flanigan said the first issue appeared in the summer of 2017 when another probation officer discovered two long guns in his home. At the time, the officer gave Podolak a warning and told him to remove the weapons from his home.
But in May, Flanigan said he discovered Podolak had not only ignored the probation department's warning — he had actually brought more weapons into the home.
During a surprise visit in May, Flanigan said he recovered five shotguns and two rifles hidden beneath Podolak's mattress.
"As a probation officer, guns are the most dangerous thing we can run into," he said Thursday. "I feel he's making a mockery of the probation department and the court."
In response, Podolak's defense attorney, Dennis Sedor, said his client "jumped the gun," as he believed he would be released early from probation. He also noted that one of the weapons was a gift for Podolak's 9-year-old son, who he shares partial custody of.
"What happened here was stupid at best," Sedor said.
On Thursday, Podolak ultimately admitted to violating his probation. Following his admission, Judge Leone noted there was no promised sentence and said he could sentence him to up to one year in jail.
"I don't have any sympathy for you," Leone said, highlighting Podolak's history of nine arrests. "I really don't."
Podolak was released from Cayuga County Jail Thursday on $5,000 cash, $10,000 bond. He was scheduled to return to court Sept. 27 for sentencing.