NORWICH – A New York State Dept. of Corrections employee accused of hate crimes among other felonies was arraigned in Chenango County Court, and no additional bail was set.
Wayne J. Spratley, 33, Greene, appeared in front of Chenango County Court Judge Frank B. Revoir Jr. on Friday morning with his defense attorney Gary Greenwald.
Michael Ferrarese represented the people on this matter.
Revoir said that Spratley had been indicted on six felony counts. The charges include attempted murder as a hate crime, a class B felony; assault in the first degree as a hate crime, a class B felony; criminal use of a firearm in the first degree as a hate crime, a class B felony; attempted murder in the first degree, a class B felony; assault in the first degree, a class B felony; and criminal use of a firearm, a class B felony.
Greenwald waived a reading of the details of the indictment and entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Spratley.
Chenango County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Ferrarese provided the court an affidavit of service and said the office was prepared to proceed. Ferrarese said that the discovery package has been delivered to the defense. “I believe we have turned everything over,” Ferrarese said.
“I would like to thank the ADA, as he did exactly what he promised he would do,” said Greenwald. “I appreciate what the ADA did, and I will do the same accordingly.”
Said Ferrarese, “With respect to the bail, the defendant is currently out.”
Ferrarese said that bail was set by the local court at $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond at the time of Spratley’s arrest.
“It [the bail] was set before we had all the facts,” said Ferrarese. “After the grand jury came back, there were additional elements – including the element of hate.”
Ferrarese said that Spratley could face up to 25 years in state prison if convicted.
“We believe he may pose a flight risk,” said Ferrarese. “As a result, the people request the defendant be remanded on $100,000 cash or $250,000 bond. Thank you.”
Greenwald addressed the court and said the purpose of bail is two-fold. “One, to return when required,” said Greenwald. “Two, to help the defendant in his own defense.”
Greenwald, who is an attorney out of Chester, NY said he drove here for the matter, and also has two private investigators going over the matter.
Greenwald cited New York State Criminal Procedure Law 510.30: Application for recognizance or bail; rules of law and criteria controlling determination.
“From the 19th day of July to today, other than coming to my house or my office, he [Spratley] never left Chenango County,” said Greenwald. “This is where he grew up.”
Greenwald suggested that the only reason it was stated by the people that Spratley is a flight risk is due to the nature of the “pretty serious charges.”
“At the moment he is presumed innocent,” said Greenwald. “My client was in a bar, he comes out of the bar…”
Ferrarese stood and said, “We’re not here to argue the facts of the case.”
“I do disagree with my colleague,” Greenwald said.
Said Ferrarese, “In this particular case, I have all 20+ dispositions and statements from witnesses.”
“The issue is simple,” said Greenwald. “We know the defendant is a CO and had a gun and a badge. No one is disagreeing with that.”
“My client left a bar, another individual chased him,” said Greenwald.
Greenwald mentioned article 35 under the New York Penal Law: Defense of Justification.
“He did exactly what was required of the law,” said Greenwald.
“The gentleman running after him started approaching him,” said Greenwald. “My client was trying to get away.”
Greenwald said his client is a young man with no record. “He is a CO, said Greenwald.” Greenwald added that there hasn’t been anything additional that suggests the need for a rise of the bail amount.
“They knew he was in a bar,” said Greenwald. “My client has been out of jail for the better part of five weeks. He has a wife, three children, and never leaves the area. He does not even have a passport.”
Greenwald said he works for his father and goes home every night.
“The serious charges do not mean you need to increase his bail,” said Greenwald. “Spratley has not gone to bars for five weeks and has done nothing wrong.”
Greenwald added, “The DA is saying it is a serious crime so you have to increase the bail.” Defense counsel made mention of the Bail Reform Act.
Greenwald said that the evidence presented was of no surprise to him. “The detectives knew, the police knew … a gun was used,” said Greenwald.
“We are going to aggressively going to defend this case,” Greewald said.
Additionally, Greenwald told the court that they would be receiving a motion to dismiss.
“There could be a violation of due process here,” Greenwald added.
With regard to his client Greenwald said, “These are not rich people, they’re poor people, they stripped everything to post bail.”
Defense counsel argued that based on the format and how the law is to be applied, with regard to the nature and the facts of the case, that the judge not raise the bail.
Greenwald said that when he would talk to Spratley and ask him what he had been doing, he said that Spratley said, “I worked, I went home to be with my family, other than that, just going down to see you.”
Greenwald said his client never violated any orders of the court.
“As I said, he is a CO, he’s abided by everything you’ve asked him to do,” said Greenwald. “I will not say anything negative about the victim.”
“There is no reason bail should be changed,” said Greenwald. “Please allow this man to be with his wife and children. Lastly, thank you to the ADA, and thank you to the Court.”
Ferrarese had the opportunity to speak and said, “Clearly, we have extremely different views of the facts. The case was presented to a grand jury.”
“The defendant was racial prior to allegedly shooting the victim,” said Ferrarese. “We now have witnesses that allege it as a hate crime.”
“With that being said,” added Ferrarese, “I don’t know what witnesses the defense has spoken to.”
Said Ferrarese, “We have a very different view on what happened that weekend.” Ferrarese added that there would be an enhanced sentence imposed if convicted, because of the hate crime allegations.
“We’re not asking Spratley be remanded, we’re not asking for 1 million dollars,” said Ferrarese. Ferrarese respectfully asked the court to set bail at $100,000 cash or $250,000 bond.
Revoir said he was aware of the intricacies of the case as he acted as the judge at the local level for Sprately’s initial arraignment. “I am aware of the racial slurs,” Revoir said. “I knew that at that time.”
Prior to the hate crime charges the minimum sentence if convicted was five years.
“Words allegedly spoken raised this to a hate crime,” said Revoir. “Now the minimum is eight years and the maximum remains the same (25 years).”
“[Chenango County District Attorney Joseph] McBride said at the initial arraignment that he [Spratley] is a hardworking CO and not a flight risk,” said Revoir.
“After hearing all that, I found it [the bail] to be reasonable, and I still find it to be reasonable,” said Revoir.
Revoir said the defense counsel was correct in that there has been no change except for the hate crime allegations.
“He is here today with his retained defense counsel,” said Revoir.
The judge kept the bail amount at what was originally set – 50k cash or 100k bond – which Spratley posted two days following his arrest.
Following today’s arraignment, Spratley remains out of custody and will appear in Chenango County Court at a later date. He is to have no contact with the victim, is not to leave New York State without the permission of the court, and is prohibited from going into any establishments that serve alcohol. All conditions ordered by the court at his initial arraignment remain in effect.
Spratley is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.