A defendant already facing a felony homicide charge for his role in a fatal February automobile crash in Mentz is now also charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Tristan R. Hope, 25, of 7004 State St. Road, Throop, was arraigned Tuesday night on the new charge after turning himself in to the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office following the issuing of a new warrant for his arrest.
Hope was previously arrested in March following the sheriff's office investigation into a two-vehicle accident on Route 31 that killed Michael P. Maltese, 52, of Weedsport, on Feb. 8. At the time of his original arrest, the sheriff's office said Hope's "consumption of a controlled substance" contributed to the crash's cause. He was charged with criminally negligent homicide, a class E felony, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.
The new charge is a class C felony punishable with a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison. The Cayuga County District Attorney's office filed a felony complaint and obtained the arrest warrant on the new charge "after a review of the applicable law and of the evidence from the Cayuga County Sheriff's Department's Investigation of the Feb. 8, 2021 fatal crash on Route 31 in the Town of Mentz. The finalized collision reconstruction report and report of inspection of the defendant's vehicle were sent to us May 24th," Senior Assistant District Attorney Diane Adsit told The Citizen on Wednesday.
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Hope was arraigned on the new charge and released under the terms of the $20,000 bail set for his original charges.
The prosecution "will be conferencing with Defense Counsel in an attempt to resolve this case with a plea that would save the witnesses from the trauma of testifying," Adsit said, adding that Hope's next court appearance is a conference before Cayuga County Judge Thomas Leone in mid-August.