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AUBURN — A 16-year-old has denied taking part in an attempted robbery outside the Cayuga County Courthouse last summer. 

Tertius Lovett — a former resident of Cayuga Centers — pleaded not guilty Thursday to second-degree attempted robbery, a felony, and third-degree menacing, a misdemeanor. 

Following Lovett's arraignment, Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann described the charges listed in the two-count indictment, which was handed down by a grand jury last month. 

According to the indictment, Lovett was arrested at around 10:45 p.m. June 28 following an attempted mugging outside the courthouse on Genesee Street.

Lovett and a co-defendant allegedly approached a 38-year-old man and brandished a "sharp instrument," which the victim believed to be a knife. The victim managed to escape unharmed, Budelmann said, as he reportedly tricked the teens into following him to Parker's Grille, where he called police for help. 

In court Thursday, defense attorney Rome Canzano said Lovett was a "high-need resident" of Cayuga Centers at the time. He has since been transferred to a residential treatment facility near Buffalo where he will remain on "pretrial release" pending further proceedings. 

Lovett was scheduled to return to Cayuga County Court Feb. 8. 

Also in court:

• An Auburn man pleaded not guilty to conspiring to sell cocaine in Cayuga County. 

Aaron Smiley, 40, of 2 Van Patten St., was arraigned on an indictment Wednesday before Judge Mark Fandrich. He was charged with eight felonies and four misdemeanors, including fourth-degree conspiracy, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, third-, fourth- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal possession of marijuana and second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia. 

Budelmann said the charges stemmed from an arrest in November when police found cocaine, marijuana and Xanax at Smiley's residence, as well as several scales and bags. 

Smiley pleaded not guilty to all counts Wednesday, but reappeared in court before Judge Thomas Leone Thursday morning. He was remanded to Cayuga County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash, $10,000 bond and ordered to return to court March 22. 

• An Auburn woman was arraigned Thursday for allegedly illegally selling prescription drugs. 

Melissa McCullum, 38, of 59 Wall St. Apt. 3, appeared in court on an indictment charging her with three counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and three counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all class D felonies. 

According to the district attorney, McCullum was arrested last year for selling Diazepam and Clonazepam, both prescription medications.

McCullum pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday and was released on her own recognizance pending her next court appearance Feb. 8. 

Staff writer Megan Blarr can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or Follow her on Twitter @CitizenBlarr. 


Crime and Courts Reporter