The top 10 most-read stories of the week.
Elephant and the Dove: Inside the new Mexican restaurant in Skaneateles
SKANEATELES — The decor at Elephant and the Dove is as enticing as anything on its menu.
The new Skaneateles restaurant, opening Thursday, takes its visual inspiration from the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It also takes its name from the husband and wife, who were described as "an elephant and a dove" due to the contrast between their statures: Rivera tall and overweight, Kahlo diminutive and fragile.
And the portrait of Kahlo at the top of the stairway to the second floor of the restaurant is just one way it evokes her surrealist style.
Designed by Thom Filicia, a member of the cast of the original "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," the colorful 7,500 square-foot-space is a feast for the eyes. Large golden flowers bloom from the walls. And every surface, from the pillows lining its seats to the cages holding its candles, is richly patterned and textured, suggesting a certain authenticity.
But what gives the restaurant that authenticity is its food. Executive Chef Albert Herrera, previously of Avicolli's in Syracuse, has conceived a menu that General Manager Patrick Lischak described Tuesday as "hometown Mexican cuisine." Staples like tacos and enchiladas are there, but they're filtered through Herrera and the family recipes he grew up with.
"People are going to see some dishes they're used to, and some dishes they're not used to, that are a little more authentic to Mexican cuisine," Lischak said.
One highlight is Herrera's posole, a slow-cooked pork stew with hominy that the chef's grandmother made on Sundays, Lischak said. Depending on the amount of spices or lime juice used, its flavor can range from hot to sweet. Another highlight is chiles en nogada, a chili pepper stuffed with pork, raisins and more, and served with a walnut cream sauce.
Both items were popular at tastings put together by Elephant and the Dove's owners, Adam and Kim Weitsman, as they prepared to open the restaurant, Lischak said. Also owners of The Krebs down Genesee Street, the Weitsmans wanted their second restaurant to both bring the Mexican food they love to Skaneateles, and make that food affordable.
"Adam runs a blue-collar business (Upstate Shredding), so he wants to offer the experience of walking into a beautiful restaurant, sitting and eating a meal for $10 to $12 a dish," Lischak said.
The most expensive item on the restaurant's menu is a 12-ounce steak for $24, Lischak said. Three tacos, meanwhile, are $9 to $12, depending on which of the six options is ordered. They include shrimp, steak, pork and a rotating catch-of-the-day taco that will use fresh, available fish. The menu is 22 items, Lischak continued, and will change "when it needs to."
Affordable as it is, Lischak said, the restaurant's Mexican fare isn't prepared cheaply. Herrera and his staff makes all of the tortillas, sauces and other components from scratch.
"We're trying to make it our own and set the tone for Mexican food in Skaneateles," Lischak said. "Because it hasn't been seen here before."
Elephant and the Dove took the same approach to its cocktail menu. Its five original specials include a hibiscus habanero drink, as well as a margarita that substitutes the traditional orange liqueur with salt water. And instead of salt on the rim, there's a tahini spice that pops against restaurant's green cocktail glassware, Lischak said.
Other drink options include house-made sangria, Mexican and local craft beers, and the Scorpion Bowl, a 96-ounce glass skull for groups that want to share a cocktail. Wine is less of a focus at the restaurant, Lischak said. The bar carries a basic selection, but The Krebs already serves a Wine Spectator award-winning program, he noted.
The general manager said the restaurant was designed to drive business with its bar, which is the centerpiece of the first floor when patrons walk in the Genesee Street entrance. There are some tables surrounding the bar, including an area with no speakers for more conversational dining. But the main dining area is the skylit second floor, where the kitchen is also located. (A dumbwaiter delivers food to the lower floors.) Six of the seats on the floor are located at an exhibition counter facing the kitchen, which Lischak expects to be popular real estate.
"We hired a very lively kitchen staff," he said. "We want the guests being able to interact with the staff at any time, and them having the knowledge to answer questions that might come their way."
Diners who prefer privacy can opt for a room on the lower level with the only table at the restaurant that can be reserved. It seats 12 to 14, Lischak said. Also on the lower level is a takeout kiosk with its own entrance at the back of the restaurant. And delivery will be available this summer to the Clift Park docks, Lischak said. Food can be ordered online or by phone.
The Elephant and the Dove's private room also has its own music system. That may come in handy Thursdays through Saturdays, as the restaurant will have a resident DJ performing those nights. The DJ, whose booth location is still being determined, will set the mood of the restaurant with the music he spins, Lischak said.
"We want that fun atmosphere. Not loud, but upbeat," he said. "Where people come in, relax and have good drinks and good food."
Sheriff's office: Cayuga County man reported missing
A town of Victory man has been reported missing, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday.
Gregory A. Dechick, 43, of 11656 Route 38, was reported missing from the village of Cato at approximately 2:30 p.m. April 1 "by a person close to him," according to a news release. He was last seen at a bank in Weedsport earlier that day, the release said, and has not been seen or heard from since. The news release said "many investigative leads have been followed up but none leading to any information regarding the whereabouts of Dechick."
The release said Dechick has brown eyes and black hair, is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs around 175 pounds and had a full beard and mustache when he was last seen. He was last seen wearing an orange and camouflage baseball cap, a camouflage jacket and "rubber muck-type boots," the release said.
"Family and friends are concerned for his well-being and they, along with the Sheriff's Office, ask for the public's help in locating him," the news release said.
The investigation is ongoing and those with information can contact Detective Justin Leszczynski at (315) 258-3868 or the main sheriff's office line at (315) 253-1222. Anonymous tips can be left on the office's webpage at cayugacounty.us/155/Sheriffs-Office.
Students rock Auburn High School talent show
AUBURN — The student body at Auburn High School erupted into cheers as Abby Lentini was declared the winner of the Auburn's Got Talent competition Friday.
Lentini cupped her hands around her mouth after her name was called. She was congratulated by the show's emcee and one of the event's organizers, Jake Coleman, who wore a bright gold suit. Lentini held aloft her prize, which looked like a wrestler's championship belt.
The show was organized by the eight-student journalism group The Journalism Boys. Coleman, 18, said before the show that the event is meant to bring students together.
"I guess our biggest thing is, if you think about school, it's like a stressful place," Coleman said. "We're trying to alleviate some of the stress and make it a fun environment."
Four acts competed at the show, but the competition had originally been much wider. Auditions originally started a few weeks ago, with acts competing weekly in front of judges such as The Journalism Boys, the school's student resource officers and Principal Brian Morgan until it was whittled down to the final four. Student Kaleb Cook said around 30 acts tried out. Shirts were sold to raise funds for the show, getting around $500 in profit.
Coleman said before the show started that he sacrificed sleep to make sure it went well, adding that he felt good about it.
"This is probably going to be one of the best shows Auburn High School's ever seen," Coleman said. "I can say that confidently, because we've put in a lot of hours."
Dave Fisselbrand, English and journalism teacher, said he was proud of the members of The Journalism Boys for their efforts on the event. He said some students who normally don't get involved in school events auditioned for the competition.
"This has really grabbed the school's spirit," he said.
Students played with balloons scattered throughout the auditorium before the show began. Coleman could be seen moving to various parts of the auditorium with a face that expressed equal parts excitement and terror.
Lentini went first, performing "Sign of the Times" by Harry Styles. Lentini's movements were akin to a superstar playing a massive arena, even down to dramatically turning her head away from the microphone in one swift movement at one point. Students waved their phones in the air with the phone lights on, illuminating the auditorium that been largely pitch black outside of the lights on stage. After Lentini hit her last note and the crowd got on its feet to applaud, she bobbed her lead left to right with a gigawatt smile.
Billy Liccion was up next, performing a medley of themes from the "Super Mario" game franchise with a violin. The third act were singers Baylee Kennedy and Aaron Baim, who went on instead of original finalist Fiona Chisholm, who was sick. "Second best, let's go!" Kennedy exclaimed on stage to the crowd's laughter before the her breaking into the song "This is Me," from the 2017 film "The Greatest Showman."
John Netti, under his rap name J-Netti, was the final contestant, performing songs he wrote and produced himself. At one point, he tossed a hoodie into the crowd and shouted "J-Netti merch!" He also flung water from a water bottle at the crowd at one point.
Alisa Sheridan and Luke Mock, who weren't competing, then performed, before a finale that included teachers and students dancing on stage as "Jump Around" by House of Pain blared. At one point teacher Matt Moskov ran across the judge's table, which was also on stage. Lentini was then declared the winner.
After the show, Netti said the experience was amazing.
"I'm just glad I was able to do it, the opportunity to go up there," he said.
Family patriarch pleads guilty in connection with Auburn meth lab bust
AUBURN — In November, police raided Thomas Hutton Sr.'s 54 Orchard St. home and found numerous people engaged in making methamphetamine.
Hutton Sr., 54, was the first to be arrested. Thursday, he was one of six people involved in the meth bust who pleaded guilty to their crimes in Cayuga County Court. Of the six, he is one of two defendants who will likely face prison time.
AUBURN — Seven of the eight people arrested in connection with the Auburn meth lab bust in N…
Hutton Sr. pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, in full satisfaction of his indictment. As part of his plea, he admitted to possessing about 4 ounces of meth oil.
In light of the plea, Judge Thomas Leone said he would likely impose the agreed-upon sentence of five years in prison and five years post-release supervision. The maximum time he could serve in prison for his crime is 10 years. Held in Cayuga County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond bail, Hutton Sr. is due back for sentencing May 30.
Codefendant Raymond Cox, 37, of 68 Orchard St., is also facing prison time for his involvement in the meth lab.
Cox pleaded guilty to fourth-degree (reduced from second-degree) criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C felony. He admitted possessing meth. In exchange for his plea, he will likely be sentenced to three years in prison with two years of post-release supervision with the possibility of a shock camp or a drug treatment order. The maximum sentence is 5.5 years. He is held at the county jail on $5,000 cash, $10,000 bond bail and is due back for sentencing May 30.
Jonas Hutton, 22, of 8 Throop Ave., Auburn, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor plea-deal offer and was sentenced for his involvement with the meth lab.
Jonas pleaded guilty to two of the nine charges he faced. He pleaded to fifth-degree (reduced from second-degree) conspiracy and second-degree criminal possession of meth manufacturing materials, both class A misdemeanors. He admitted to planning and having conversations with other codefendants and participating in attempts to make meth as well as possessing manufacturing materials.
Jonas was sentenced to three years of probation for each charge, which will run concurrently. Jonas' brother, Thomas M. Hutton, 28, pleaded guilty to the same charges and was also sentenced to three years of probation in March. In February, codefendant Shaun Cronin, 40, also pleaded guilty to fifth degree conspiracy and second-degree criminal possession of meth manufacturing materials.
AUBURN — A man pleaded guilty this week to his involvement in a meth lab bust in November — …
Three other codefendants will likely receive a five year probationary sentence in exchange for their involvement with the meth lab.
Theresa Hutton, 24, of 117 Main St., Port Byron; Breanne Lunn, 32, of 11 Garden East Lane, Hannibal; and Timothy Rathbun, 35, of 8270 W. Loop Road, Montezuma; all pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony — reduced from second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance — to satisfy their indictments.
Theresa confirmed she knowingly and unlawfully possessed meth oil, Lunn admitted to participating in the alleged making of meth activity and Rathbun admitted to knowing meth was in the house and being present while codefendants made or attempted to make meth, knowing it was illegal.
While the maximum sentence is 2.5 years in prison, Theresa, Lunn and Rathbun will likely each be sentenced to five years of probation. Leone also explained conditions of post-release supervision to each of them in the event that something goes wrong and any of them end up spending time in prison. All three are due back for sentencing June 27.
Heather Hutton, 45, of 8 Throop Ave., also appeared in court Thursday. Her next court appearance was adjourned to April 25 but Cayuga County Assistant District Attorney Joshua Bennett said a possible plea-deal would involve Heather pleading guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, lessened from the initial second-degree charge.
Also in court
• An Auburn man pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine.
Robert Rogers, 50, of 15 Madison Ave., pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal possession of narcotic drugs with intent to sell, a class B felony. His plea satisfied two uncharged counts of felony criminal sale of a controlled substance.
Rogers said he was pulled over in his car soon after leaving his home on Feb. 28 and told by police there was a warrant on his car and home. He lived at 69 Chapman Ave. at the time. He admitted having about .5 grams of cocaine on his person and intended to sell it. Senior ADA Brittany Grome Antonacci said a total of about 1.5 grams of cocaine was found, some of which was in his home.
In exchange for his plea, Rogers will likely be sentenced to two years in prison and two years post release. His sentence will likely be executed with a drug treatment order which means most of his sentence will be served as parole supervision. Rogers was also required to forfeit his car and about $3,450 cash.
Auburn police: Woman slashed teen with box cutter
Auburn police said a woman broke into an apartment Thursday and slashed a 13-year-old with a box cutter.
Auburn Police Department Deputy Chief Roger Anthony said that around 3:30 p.m., Lora M. Lupien, 32, of 10 Chestnut St., entered a residence on Derby Avenue and began swinging a metal bat. The occupants of the residence managed to take the bat away from her, and the argument between Lupien and the occupants spilled out onto the street. Eventually, Lupien walked away and started going down another street when she was confronted by a 13-year-old boy, Anthony said, and cut one of the child's arms with a box cutter.
Anthony said the boy was treated at Auburn Community Hospital for a 4-inch cut that required 13 stitches.
Lupien was charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and endangering the welfare of a child.
She was arraigned at Auburn City Court Friday and remanded to the Cayuga County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond bail. Her next day in court is April 16.
Pizza in the plaza: Longtime area restaurateur opens first Auburn location
Iginio Labaro has opened pizza shops outside Auburn over the past 35 years. Now, after circling the city all that time, he'll open his first shop there this month.
Located in Auburn Plaza on Grant Avenue, Mamma Maria New York Pizzeria will open as soon as April 16, Labaro said. The date depends on the installation of his fire suppression system, he said.
But a delay of a few days won't be much after the decades Labaro has spent looking at opening an Auburn location. He's been close a few times, he said, only for his plans to fall through.
He couldn't have been waiting for a better spot, he said. Additionally, the plaza has been missing a pizza restaurant since GJP Italian Eatery closed in late 2016.
"This plaza is the best spot in the city," said Labaro, of Locke. "It's always full."
Labaro said he was told about the location, formerly Hoopla! Frozen Yogurt, by friend and Winton Antiques owner Jerry Vevone. The two know each other from Weedsport, where Vevone ran The Winton Shoppe and Labaro opened one of his New York Pizzeria shops. He also opened locations in Cato and Moravia, the latter 35 years ago, he said.
The first New York Pizzeria goes back even further: Iginio's father, Giovanni, opened it in Mohawk 50 years ago. And it was Giovanni who established the recipes and approach to the restaurant business that have set the shops apart, Iginio said. New York Pizzeria uses the same dough recipe and low-gluten flour today that it did in 1968, he continued, in addition to Indelicato's sausage, California tomatoes and "the best cheese money can buy," he said. The shop also makes its own bread for hot Italian sandwiches like chicken Parmesan, among other menu items.
Mamma Maria New York Pizzeria will also serve cold subs, as well as salads, calzones and stromboli, and desserts like cannoli and tiramisu. Eventually, the shop will also offer Italian pasta dishes.
Labaro said the restaurant will seat about 28, and he is hiring 10 employees to staff it.
He returns to the business less than six months after selling the Moravia location of New York Pizzeria, which he owned and operated with his cousin Sal. After opening it 35 years ago, Labaro sold the shop for the first time to Sal, and it continued changing hands. About five years ago, however, its owners had to close, Labaro said. But he and Sal couldn't stand to let that happen.
"And in my old age I said, 'What the hell?' I'll go back into business," he said. "It was a very good business down there. It was a shame for that place to be closed."
Labaro had also sold his New York Pizzeria locations in Cato and Weedsport. So when he wanted to open the Auburn shop, he needed a new name. He took Mamma Maria from his wife, he said.
After a few decades in the restaurant business, Labaro knows how rough and tiring it can be, he said. But he's ready to bring Auburn the pizza shop he's long wanted.
"We'll do our best to satisfy customers," he said. "If they're not happy, there's no sense in selling food to them."
Unattended Sennett fire burns shed to ground
SENNETT — An unattended outdoor fire in Sennett burned a shed to the ground Friday afternoon.
The Sennett Fire Department was called to a fire at a 426 Grant Avenue Road home around noon, Sennett Chief Sean Holmes said at the scene. Other responding fire departments included Weedsport, Aurelius, Throop and Auburn. State Police, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office and an AMR ambulance were also on scene as of about 12:15 p.m.
It appeared someone started an outdoor fire behind the home and that the wind blew the fire into a metal shed, Holmes said. He said it was hard to tell exactly what was burning, but it didn't appear to be wood.
The fire was under control within about 20 minutes, Holmes said, and was caught in enough time that it didn't spread to the house.
He said the fire was unattended and the 1.5 story home, built in 1900, was abandoned. It will be up to law enforcement to decide if, and how, to follow up on the incident, he added.
Auburn Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Grady was also on the scene and noted that things burn easily this time of year.
Because of the high risk of wildfires during early spring, New York state has had a brush burning ban in effect since March 16 that expires May 14. The state Department of Environmental Conservation reported that open burning of debris is the leading cause of spring wildfires in New York.
A brush burning ban will be in effect beginning Saturday, March 16, the state Department of …
A violation of the brush burning ban could result in civil and criminal charges. A first-time offender could face a fine of at least $500.
Port Byron village board votes not to renew school's SRO contract
PORT BYRON — The village of Port Byron spontaneously voted against renewing the school resource officer contract with the Port Byron Central School District Monday night — something the district and parents have been seeking renewal of for weeks.
Unless something changes, June 30 will be SRO Frank Ryan's last day. On March 25, parents and district representatives asked the village to renew the SRO contract. The support for the renewal followed the district's announcement that its attempts to engage the village to make updates to its SRO contract were ignored.
PORT BYRON — Parents and representatives from the Port Byron Central School District asked t…
Currently, the school district pays SRO Ryan directly. The Cayuga County Civil Service Commission has since asked the district and the village to change the current arrangement, which is set to expire June 30, so that the village pays the officer. The commission reported to village Mayor Ronald Wilson that the school never reported having an SRO, which meant the district wasn't complying with civil service rules.
The Port Byron Central School District has grown increasingly concerned over what it feels i…
When opening the public to be heard portion of Monday's meeting to about 17 community members, Wilson asked that those with nothing new to add "just keep your mouth shut."
"I would really like to stress that this has turned into a thing about personalities and not really about positions. Really, all that we're asking the village to do is to negotiate with us to approve a position for an SRO for the school district," district Board of Education President Melinda Quanbeck said. "What we need is to be able to reassure that we can protect the students."
If the village isn't willing to negotiate, she said it would still be better for the school to know that so it can come up with a solution. She noted that while the contract doesn't expire until June, it isn't currently operating legally.
"What I find here is disrespect," said parent and school employee JoAnn Mapley. "The fact that you just disregard the safety of our students, my child, so flippantly I don't agree with that."
"Well if you read the Facebook crap that's out there," Wilson said, "it's been insulting to the village, it's been insulting to the village board, it's been insulting to me."
Wilson said nobody has asked to be on the agenda with enough time to do so. He also only got one email asking to have a sit-down meeting to talk about the issue, but said in response to a question that he never replied to the email.
"I'll be here until this is resolved and I'll speak every single time as is my right," said Angelee Hitchcock, a parent, teacher and union president. "This has gotten out of control."
After about 15 minutes of discussion, Board member Jeff Girvin said "we should just end this," then immediately made a motion not to sign the contract with the school for the renewal for the 2019-2020 year. When asked why, he cited liability to the village. Wilson agreed liability was a big concern.
Board member Patrick Fenton seconded the motion and said he, and all the board, believe there should be an armed officer at the school but that the relationship with the school isn't working. State troopers can get to the school in two minutes, he added.
"The school has tons of options on their own without the village being involved," he said.
Without the village as part of the equation, school district attorney Matthew Fletcher said an officer in the school could carry a gun, but could not "exercise police powers in that capacity."
"Personally, I think the school has been big bullies in this whole thing," Girvin said. "How many times will you constantly use 'the kids, the kids'?"
Board members Mary Jump and Jeffery Emerson both said they were willing to enter negotiations with the school. When it came time to vote on whether or not to renew the contract, Jump and Emerson opposed while Fenton, Girvin and Wilson passed the motion.
"Right now, it's dead," Wilson said in response to a question on if voting to not renew the contract meant that the board was also not interested in negotiating a new contract.
"So if something happens to one of our kids, we can come back and blame it on you? You can live with that on your shoulders?" Kim Blaisdell asked Girvin.
"I got more blood on my hands than you'll ever understand," Girvin replied.
"It would just be really nice to hear from the village that ... it was interested in finding a solution," said Trista O'Hara.
Police investigating reports of a fight, possible gunshots at Auburn home
The Auburn Police Department is investigating reports of a fight and possible gunshots Saturday morning.
Officers responded to a call around 3 a.m., according to police. A fight and possible gunshots were reported at 292 Seymour St.
The APD was on the scene for several hours. No arrests had been made and no injuries were reported, police said.
The police department said Saturday night that no additional information about the incident was available.
Auburn man sentenced for stabbing person's eye, stomach
AUBURN — An Auburn resident was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for repeatedly stabbing a man and causing him to lose an eye.
Nathan Fillingham, 30, of 88 Capital St., was arrested after stabbing a 35-year-old man several times in the town of Victory on Aug. 6, 2017. When Cayuga County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the late-night incident at 458 Victory Road, they found Joshua Hoeffner had been stabbed multiple times in the head, hand and torso. Hoeffner was treated at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse for serious injuries.
Fillingham was initially charged with first-degree assault, a class B felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class A misdemeanor. He was later indicted on a charge of second-degree attempted murder, a class B felony. Fillingham's plea to first-degree assault satisfied all his charges.
The case — which had kept Fillingham in jail for more than a year without bail at the time of his Feb. 8 plea — took a long time to resolve in part due to Fillingham's mental health history, Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said in Cayuga County Criminal Court Tuesday. He said he hopes Fillingham can address some of his issues while in prison.
AUBURN — After remaining in jail without bail for more than a year, an Auburn man pleaded gu…
The stabbing incident was related to Fillingham's girlfriend of about two weeks at the time, Budelmann said. The victim, Hoeffner, was allegedly an ex-boyfriend to Fillingham's girlfriend and the two were involved with each other again.
Fillingham took a knife from the visor in his car and stabbed the victim in the stomach and also the eye. "He took out the victim's eye permanently," Budelmann said.
"This was a gruesome event," said Rome Canzano, Fillingham's defense attorney. He said Fiillingham accepts responsibility and noted his behavior while incarcerated for nearly two years has been OK when he's on proper medications. At the time of the stabbing, Canzano said Fillingham's mental health issues "manifested in that moment out of control." He requested the court, to the extent possible, allow programming and treatment for Fillingham while in prison.
"I've come to realize my actions not only affected me and (Hoeffner)," Fillingham said, adding he's had severe mental health issues since he was young. "If I could take it all back, I would've never (gotten) out of the truck."
He said he hopes to take advantage of the time in prison to get well and plans to continue therapy upon his release. Hoeffner didn't deserve what he did, Filllingham said, adding that he prays for the victim and his family and has gone to Bible study weekly for more than a year.
Judge Mark Fandrich sentenced Fillingham to 10 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision. He didn't oppose Fillingham participating in any programming in prison that he qualifies for. An order of protection was put in place for the victim.
Also in court:
• An Auburn woman pleaded guilty to allowing others to sell drugs from her residence.
Lynn Boothroyd, 45, said she rented 51 Orchard St, upper apt. Charged with first-degree criminal nuisance, a class E felony, she said in her plea that she received drugs and food as compensation for allowing others to gather at her address and sell drugs.
In exchange for her plea, Fandrich agreed to likely sentence her to a range of probation up to 1 1/3 to four years in prison. She is due back for sentencing July 9 to allow her to get an evaluation from Confidential Help For Alcohol & Drugs and hopefully complete a treatment program prior to sentencing.
• A woman will spend up to four years in prison for stealing a $16 watch from Auburn's Walmart.
Jamie Smith, 38, of 5 Orchard St., Auburn, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary, a class D felony, in court Feb. 5. Her plea satisfied her entire indictment, which once included an unauthorized use of vehicle charge — for allegedly taking a car she did not own from the Walmart parking lot.
She had been banned from Walmart at the time she entered the store and stole the watch, Budelmann said Tuesday.
Fandrich sentenced Smith, a second-felony offender, to two to four years in prison. She was also ordered to pay about $966 in restitution — $950 related to the vehicle and about $16 for the watch.
"My stupidity led me here, but that doesn't mean I'm not determined to get it right," Smith said. "I'm an addict who needs help."
• An Auburn man was sentenced to prison for pawning a stolen tool kit.
Kristopher Tracy, 33, of 63 Van Anden St., will spend 1.5 to three years in prison for his conviction of first-degree falsifying business records, a class E felony. He sold a DeWalt tool kit he didn't own, but said he did, to Pawn King in Auburn.
"I regret everything I've done," said Tracy, a second-felony offender who said he wants to get help for his mental health and substance abuse disorders to make a better life for himself, his wife and two young children.
He was also ordered to pay $529 in restitution to Lowe's Home Improvement, where the toolkit was stolen from.
• A woman was sentenced to prison for stealing about $350 from her grandmother.
Erinn Lepak, 29, who had no address recorded, was sentenced to one to three years in prison with a shock camp order — a program involving intense structure, work therapy, counseling and other services — for her conviction of second-degree possession of forged instrument, a class D felony. She was also ordered to pay $350 in restitution.
Lepak filled out some of her grandmother's checks and photo-deposited them into her bank account. Her defense attorney, Thomas Turturo, said her somewhat lengthy criminal history is all related to substance abuse as her crimes were committed while she was on drugs or in order to get money for drugs.
"I'm more than ready to continue with my sobriety," Lepak said.
• A Pulaski woman was sentenced for violating her probation.
Tara Sathre, 33, of 8 Loomis St., was on probation for second-degree forgery, a class D felony, when she got into an accident while driving on a suspended license, Budelmann said. Fandrich said she left the scene of the accident and had consumed alcohol in a motor vehicle.
"I just want to apologize for my actions," Sathre said while admitting to violating her probation.
She was sentenced to an indeterminate one to three years in prison with a shock camp order.