Two accused felons accept plea deals, three offer not guilty pleas

NORWICH – A pair of accused felons accepted plea deals in Chenango County court Friday, while three others, indicted in October, pleaded not guilty to the felony charges brought against them.

Sean Leonard, 22, of New Berlin, and Ward Lozier, 35, address unknown, pleaded guilty to second degree criminal mischief and second degree aggravated vehicular assault respectively, both class D felonies. The two were indicted in August.

Leonard, one of three charged with slashing the tires of numerous vehicles in the Town of New Berlin and the Preferred Mutual Insurance Company parking lot in late May, will face a possible five years probation once sentenced, and will pay approximately $3,500 in restitution. Failure to pay the full amount, said a representative of the county district attorney’s office, would result in additional penalties.

Prompted by Judge W. Howard Sullivan, Leonard – father of a three-year-old daughter – apologized for his actions and said he would “try to better myself” and “be a better person.”

Lozier, originally indicted for first degree vehicular assault – a class D felony – first degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content of .08 of 1 percent or higher – class E felonies – could face two-and-a-half to five years in state prison once sentenced. He must also pay approximately $2,000 in restitution following a motorcycle accident that occurred on County Road 8 in the Town of Pharsalia. At the time of the crash, Lozier’s passenger was ejected from the vehicle, causing serious physical injuries, according to his indictment. As a result of two prior DWI convictions, Lozier had no license at the time.

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