Ford faces Chenango grand jury today

NORWICH – This afternoon, a Chenango County grand jury will decide what crimes, if any, to charge an Otselic Valley man with over an incident which left a 12-year-old girl dead.

George Ford Jr., 42, of Piscataway, N.J., was charged with first degree reckless endangerment following an investigation by the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office into an alleged vehicle accident which killed Shyanne A. Somers, 12, South Otselic, on July 8.

“There is great anticipation that he will be indicted on several other counts,” said Ford’s attorney, Randel Scharf.

“We tried to arrange bail, but the Sheriff’s Office said they had new evidence and if it was posted, they would be forced to upgrade his charge to murder in order to keep him in jail,” said Ford’s wife, Cindy.

“We intend to charge the defendant with far more serious offenses than the charges currently against him,” said District Attorney Joseph McBride.

“I can tell you there will be additional charges pending and they will be more serious,” said Sheriff Thomas Loughren.

The grand jury will have evidence presented to them later today behind closed doors and Ford himself may be testifying. “We have filed notice that Mr. Ford may be testifying before the grand jury,” said Scharf.

Ford has been held in the Chenango County Jail since his arrest July 8, on $100,000 bail.

“It was near impossible to raise the money (for bail) and we had to put up our property in Pennsylvania, but the police called and told me not to bother because they were going to be charging him with murder and said they wanted to tell me before I tried because I had been cooperating so well,” said Cindy Ford.

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