Van Deusen’s lawyer calls initial defense move “legal malpractice”

NORWICH – The second attorney for a local woman who has served most of her eight-year sentence for an alleged connection to the 2000 murder of a Norwich man said her original counsel fouled her defense from the start.

Cooperstown attorney Randel Scharf said in Chenango County Court Friday that in 2000, Tammie L. Van Deusen was never made aware of several critical facts that could have changed the outcome of the felony charges she faced. Scharf claims that the former Masonville woman’s first attorney, Jon Blechman of Binghamton, is guilty of legal malpractice for his 2000 handling of Van Deusen’s case.

After the investigation of the July 17, 2000 murder of Edward Pastore Jr., Van Deusen’s case was put before a Chenango County Grand Jury. Because of that jury presentation, Van Deusen was charged with second degree murder, second degree burglary, first degree criminal use of a firearm and conspiracy in connection with a home invasion. Scharf made the case Friday that Van Deusen’s poor representation that day violated her defense rights, and he said he would file a motion with the court accordingly.

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