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Case against teens in ‘limbo’

July 26, 2011
It will be at least another month before the case against two teens from Westfield and Brocton moves forward.

Back in June, the unidentified 18-year-olds racked up a slew of charges stemming from a late-night incident where they allegedly entered and hid inside a victim’s home on Third Street in Westfield until the victim returned, beat him with the stock of a shotgun and tied him in duct tape. They then allegedly stole the victim’s vehicle and attempted to access his bank account from an ATM in Westfield.

“There was a preliminary hearing scheduled a week and a half ago, they adjourned it, just to see where we were at and to get an idea of what sort of sentence the judge would be looking at on a plea,” Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley said. “It’s sort of in limbo right now.”

Bail for the two suspects was set at $100,000 cash and $200,000 property. When asked if the names of the two suspects could be released, Foley said not at this time.

“That is something that is ultimately up to the court to determine,” he said. “If they are adjudicated ... then it’s sealed. If they’re not, obviously then their names can be revealed.”

The preliminary hearing to be held in Westfield Village Court has been postponed for a month. Foley explained that anyone is entitled to a preliminary hearing before it moves on up to the county.

“Anyone charged with a felony, because when they’re charged compared to going directly to a grand jury, they’re charged locally and in this case in Westfield. They go before the Westfield Court Judge and he has very limited jurisdiction on a felony and is only to hold the preliminary hearing. If he finds there is a sufficiency of evidence to hold them over for action by the grand jury he moves the file up to the county level and then we present it to the grand jury,” Foley said. “If we don’t hold the preliminary hearing they can be released. That does not prevent us then from taking it to the grand jury though.”

The charges for the teens included: second-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, first-degree criminal use of a firearm, first-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree conspiracy, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree menacing, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and unlawful possession of marijuana.


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