Accused ‘road rage shooter’ waives jury trial

CHENANGO COUNTY – Accused murderer John M. Guzy of Bainbridge was in Chenango County Court on Monday for a conference matter, with his scheduled April court date fast approaching.

While in conference, Guzy, 57, chose to waive his Constitutional right to a jury trial, leaving Chenango County Court Judge Frank B. Revoir Jr. to decide the verdict.

In November, 2014, a grand jury indicted Guzy on 17 charges related to the death of Derek S. Prindle, 26, and the serious injury of Prindle’s father, Derek D. Prindle, 60, both of Afton. According to law enforcement, the situation escalated from a road rage incident along State Route 7.

The indictment alleges that on Oct. 27, 2014 at approximately 1:25 p.m. in the parking lot of a local business in the Town of Bainbridge, Guzy killed Derek S. Prindle by shooting him in the chest with a .25 caliber Beretta Jetfire semi-automatic handgun, causing a lacerated aorta.

It’s also alleged that Guzy caused serious physical injury to Derek D. Prindle by shooting him in his abdomen with the same gun, causing splenic, colon, and renal injuries for which he was required to undergo surgery.

It was made known per indictment that Guzy was allegedly under the influence of alcohol during the incident. He was recorded as having a .11 blood alcohol content level.

Following the incident, authorities searched the household of Guzy and found six firearms including: a Smith and Wesson 44 mag revolver; Ruger speed 6, .38 special revolver; Colt semi-automatic MKIV, .45 caliber handgun; Glock 9 mm semi-automatic handgun; Jennings Model 22 pistol; and a Ruger police service 6, .38 caliber handgun.

Authorities at the time also allegedly found several other weapons at Guzy's residence, including a cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, metal knuckles, chukka stick, sand bag, sand club, wrist-brace type slingshot or slung-shot, and a shirken.

Following investigation and all the alleged crimes, the 17 charges that Guzy was indicted on are as follows:

• Murder in the second degree, a class A-1 felony

• Attempted murder in the second degree, a class B felony

• Two counts of assault in the first degree, a class B felony

• Two counts of criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, a class B felony

• Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a class C felony

• Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a class D felony

• Tampering with physical evidence, a class E felony

• Driving while intoxicated, a class A misdemeanor

• Six counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a class A misdemeanor

“The defendant was in court yesterday. He came to court and we had a conference and Judge Revoir asked him if he wanted to waive his right to a jury,” said District Attorney Joseph McBride. “He (Revoir) gave him colloquial and made sure he knew what he was doing, and the defendant signed a written waiver and waived his right to a jury.”

As the reasoning behind the waived jury trial is unclear at this time, Guzy's attorney was contacted.

Guzy is currently represented by his attorney, Benjamin Bergman of the Jackson Bergman LLP law firm based out of Binghamton.

At the time of print, Bergman's office had been contacted but was unavailable for comment.

The court date is set down for trial and opening statements on April 4, 2016.

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