An Auburn man who authorities said helped plan the robbery that led to the shooting death of a man last year in the city has been indicted on charges that include second-degree murder.
Christian Rivera, 35, of 7 Woodruff Place, Apt. 1, was virtually arraigned Friday in Cayuga County Court after he was picked up on a sealed indictment warrant by the Auburn Police Department Thursday. He is the fourth defendant charged with murder in the homicide investigation of the 2019 shooting at a Delevan Street house.
In a virtual arraignment in front of Cayuga County Court Judge Thomas Leone, Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann read the indictment to Rivera, who was being held at the Cayuga County Jail. The indictment said Rivera, acting with one or more people, "attempted to commit robbery," and in the course of that, caused the death of Joshua Poole, 36.
The indictment also said "with intent that the other participants in the crime forcibly steal property from another person, (Rivera) solicited, requested, commanded, importuned or intentionally aided the other participants in committing the crime."
The indictment also alleged that Rivera "suggested, requested, solicited and/or directed the others (and) helped with the planning and provided a location to do so." It says he provided money for the masks and gloves to be used during the robbery, provided the 20-gauge shotgun and 9-millimeter handgun used in the robbery, and acted with other people to commit the crime.
Rivera's charges include second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery, fourth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Defense attorney Rome Canzano — who represented Rivera only for the arraignment because Canzano said he has a conflict stemming from another case — entered not guilty pleas on all of the charges on Rivera's behalf.
Canzano asked for bail for Rivera, saying he is a father and has "significant medical conditions for which he has to seek treatment" but wouldn't be able to seek that treatment while in custody. Canzano added that Rivera has not fled the city or country.
Budelmann argued that letting Rivera out on bail would be a "risk of flight, a risk to the community." In numerous jail calls, Budelmann continued, Rivera threatened to "shoot, hang, crack people's skulls open" and commit other forms of retaliation against others. One of the people he threatened was "severely beaten, and there (are) felony charges pending against the people who did it," the district attorney added. Budelmann asked that Rivera be remanded to the jail.
Before Rivera addressed the court, Leone warned him that everything he was about to say was going to be on the record and he could incriminate himself. Rivera said he has not fled or mentioned leaving the country, and said he had nothing to do with the person being beat up.
"I beg you, please don't leave me here," Rivera said.
Leone sided with the prosecution and remanded Rivera to the jail with no bail. Jan. 28 is Rivera's next scheduled court appearance.
Three Auburn residents were originally charged in the shooting death of Poole on Nov. 15, 2019, on 8 Delevan St.
Gage Ashley, Tyree Anglin and Lucciano Spagnola all face murder charges in a case that Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler called "another tragic and senseless outcome resulting from the scourge that surrounds the illegal activities and use of narcotics in our community" at a press conference last year.
All three defendants were indicted in January on updated charges, including second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and fourth-degree conspiracy. Ashley was also charged with first-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence.
Ashley and Spagnola are the alleged shooters, authorities have said. The January indictment also alleged Ashley "suppressed and concealed" a motor vehicle "by dumping it into the Seneca River," which he allegedly believed would be produced as evidence. Police believe a submerged vehicle found in the river that November was used to transport the defendants to and from the crime scene.
Rivera was arrested the same week as Ashley, Anglin and Spagnola, and charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, fourth-degree possession of marijuana, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, possession of a miscellaneous dangerous drug and two counts of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. He was released from county jail at the end of December due to the state's bail law changes.
Rivera was previously convicted in September 2006 of second-degree attempted robbery in Kings County.
Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.