Pre-trial hearings held for man facing assault charges

NORWICH – The man charged with two counts of assault, one count of burglary, and other crimes relating to a domestic dispute in 2014 appeared in Chenango County Court Friday for pre-trial hearings.

In May 2014, 42-year-old Christopher Turner was indicted on two counts of first degree assault, a class B felony; burglary in the first degree, a class B felony; burglary in the second degree, a class C felony; assault in the second degree, a class D felony; aggravated criminal contempt, a class D felony; and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.

It is alleged that on April 12, 2014, in the Town of Preston, that Turner did intentionally enter and remain in a residence where it’s further alleged that he intended to and did cause serious physical injury to two individuals, one of whom had a lawful order of protection against Turner.

Two victims – according to a release from the CCSO from the time of the arrest – were transported to local hospitals to be treated for their injuries. It was confirmed that the weapon of a stun gun was used in the incident. Authorities also said four children were in the home at the time of the incident.

Turner appeared with his defense counsel F. Paul Battisti for the hearings Friday. The people were represented by First Assistant District Attorney Michael Ferrarese.

The two hearings held were Mapp and Huntley hearings. A Mapp hearing is a proceeding that deals with the admissibility of evidence obtained by the police as the result of an illegal search. If the court were to deem that the defendant’s rights regarding the seizure of the evidence were violated, said evidence may be suppressed. A Huntley hearing is for the purpose of reviewing the manner in which police obtained statements from the defendant. A defendant/counsel may challenge the voluntary and lawful nature of any statement made to the police if the prosecution intends to use those statements at trial. The judge will consider factors including whether or not the defendant was in custody, whether or not the defendant waived his Miranda right, and whether it statements were given of his own free will. The Huntley hearing requires that the judge must find voluntariness beyond a reasonable doubt before the statements can be submitted to a jury by the prosecution.

Ferrarese called one witness to the stand at the proceeding, Chenango County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Warner.

Warner said he has been employed with the CCSO for slightly more than four years, and was working the night of April 12, 2014. “As I was getting ready, there was a call for a domestic dispute on County Road 4,” Warner said. He explained that his shift is typically 11:45 p.m. until 8 a.m., but the call came in at approximately 11:35 p.m., before their shift briefing.

According to Warner, on the overnight shift, two deputies ride in one car. Warner said he was with CCSO Deputy Cruiser.

Ferrarese asked Warner to describe what transpired that night.

“We learned of a possible domestic, heard there was a fight, taser, and someone was injured,” said Warner. He said he was also told that the subject was leaving in a Subaru down County Road 4 heading to the subject’s mother’s house.

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