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Man pleads guilty to stabbing in Locke
COURT

Man pleads guilty to stabbing in Locke

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AUBURN — A Cortland man's guilty plea to assault in Cayuga County Criminal Court Thursday for a stabbing incident last summer satisfied an attempted murder charge he once faced. 

Bryan Lee, 35, whose last known address was 11 Halbert St., Cortland, was arrested in July after law enforcement responded to a 3:30 a.m. call of an assault outside of a home on Tollgate Hill Road in Locke. A man, 29 at the time, was found at the scene with multiple stab wounds. He was transported to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for his injuries.

Initially charged with second-degree assault with intent to cause injury, a class D felony, Lee was later indicted on additional charges of second-degree attempted murder, a class B felony; fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class A misdemeanor; and first-degree attempted assault, a class C felony. His guilty plea to first-degree attempted assault satisfied his entire indictment.

Although scheduled for a pre-trial conference Thursday, Rome Canzano, Lee's defense attorney, said Lee was prepared to enter a guilty plea in light of the Cayuga County District Attorney's office reduced plea offer.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Brittany Grome Antonacci said the original offer was eight years in prison, but after speaking with the victim and finding he was agreeable to a lower sentence, the offer was reduced to 6.5 years in prison.

When Judge Mark Fandrich asked if pleading guilty to first-degree attempted assault was what Lee "wish(ed) to do," Lee responded by saying, "Out of respect for this court, yes." When Fandrich asked a second time if that's how he wanted to move forward, noting he didn't want to twist Lee's arm, Lee said yes.

"With intent to cause serious physical injury, I stabbed (victim) with a knife and or scissors," Lee said as part of his plea. He ultimately confirmed to Grome Antonacci that he stabbed the victim several times — after first saying it was only alleged that he repetitively stabbed the victim. Lee was unsure whether he used a knife of scissors, but didn't dispute it was one of those objects.

In exchange for his plea, Fandrich said he would likely sentence Lee to 6.5 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision. A permanent order of protection will be put in place for the victim and restitution may be ordered at the time of sentencing for any out-of-pocket medical expenses the victim had to pay as a result of his injuries.

Lee was remanded to back to Cayuga County Jail, where Canzano said he's been since he committed the crime, and is due back for sentencing May 7.

Staff writer Megan Ehrhart can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or megan.ehrhart@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @MeganEhrhart.

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