NORWICH – A Norwich man was sentenced to one year in the local jail after his admission to shooting his then-girlfriend Roxanne Shipman on Dec. 1, 2016.
James M. Maricle was charged with criminally negligent homicide, a class E felony; and criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, following the shooting and subsequent death of Shipman.
Judge Frank B. Revoir, Jr. sentenced Maricle to one year in local jail to run concurrently – at the same rather than two consecutive years.
“Did you negligently discharge a 308 rifle into Roxanne Shipman?” asked Revoir.
“Yes, your Honor,” said Maricle.
“Roxanne was my granddaughter,” said Mike Ray at sentencing. “For 19 years I was able to see her smiling face. Now I only have a hole in the ground to go look at because of Mr. Maricle. If you ever saw her, your Honor, you would know that the sentence you’re imposing does not fit the crime. The sentence is wrong for the county. It is wrong for my family. I beg you, your Honor, only you have the power to change it.”
Shipman’s mother, Sherry, also addressed the court.
“I just want to say that Roxanne was loving,” said Sherry. “She was beautiful and kind, and had so much life to live. Now, she is just gone. Her nieces will never get to know who she is. There is a lot that we will never get to experience with her, because of what he did to her.”
Sherry said that she receives messages daily from her daughter’s friends, telling her how much they miss her and how great of a person she was.
Said Ray to the court, “Mr. Maricle can have another Christmas with his family, I can’t with Roxanne. He can celebrate his birthday, I can’t spend Roxanne’s with her. I have to go to Edmeston and look at a hole in the ground to spend time with my granddaughter. Your Honor, I beg you again, change your mind, change the sentence.”
Despite pleas from family for Revoir to select a sentence between one and a third and four years in state prison, Revoir sentenced Maricle to one year in local jail to run concurrently on each of the two counts. As Maricle has spent some time in the Chenango County Correctional Facility already, family said following court that it is expected that Maricle serve eight more months before he is released.
Orders of protection were issued by the court for two of Roxanne’s family members for the maximum time allowed by law.
Revoir added that Maricle must also pay restitution in the amount of $11,725 to the Shipman family in minimum payments of $100 beginning the third month following his release from jail. It was said that this restitution is for Roxanne’s funeral expenses.
Prior to changing his plea from not guilty to guilty, Revoir asked a series of questions to Maricle to ensure he was voluntarily changing his plea and that he was not coerced by anyone. Revoir told Maricle that his plea of guilty to both charges was equivalent to having taken the case to a jury trial, and the jury finding him guilty. Maricle additionally agreed to sign a waiver of appeal.
When Revoir was asking Maricle questions about the specifics of the crime, he asked if the rifle used belonged to him, to which Maricle said it did not. He did say he was accustom to using said rifle.
Revoir asked Maricle to explain how the shooting occurred.
“I was getting ready to put it up on the gun rack and it dropped and the barrel landed in my hand and it went off,” said Maricle.
In an interview with The Evening Sun last week, the family of Shipman said the story they were told of how it happened was not only different, but they said that Maricle changed his statement a number of times.
“By mean ‘went off’ you mean it fired?” asked Revoir to Maricle in court.
“Yes, sir,” said Maricle.
“When it fired did it strike Roxanne?” Revoir asked.
“Yes, your Honor,” Maricle said.
“Did that wound cause her death?” asked Revoir.
Maricle said yes.
Maricle additionally entered a guilty plea to the criminal contempt charge, admitting that he intentionally violated a court order by possessing the rifle used in the shooting.
Based upon the statements made by Maricle in court, Revoir accepted both guilty pleas.
“My granddaughter worked at [a diner]. She was so smily and cheerful,” said Ray as he addressed the court. “She wanted to finish her education. She was going to be somebody. He took a life. He took her life. She had so much going for her.”
Continued Ray, “If he loved her like he said he did, he would have never taken a loaded gun into that house. He has taken a hunter’s safety course. He knew how to operate a firearm.”
“I plead to this court,” said Ray, “Please change the sentence to one and a third to four years in prison. I beg to the court on my hands and knees. Please. Please change the sentence. It is only in your hands. Please. That’s all I have to say.”
First Assistant Michael Ferrarese represented the People on the matter and also addressed the court Monday.
“Dec. 1, 2016 is a tragic day filled with sorrow for the Shipman family,” said Ferrarese. “To Roxanne’s family and friends, my heartfelt condolences go out to you. I am so so so so sorry for your loss. Nothing done in this courtroom today can bring her back. I am bound as a prosector to charged based on the statutes that fit based on interviews, statements, forensics, physical evidence, and witness statements. The people can only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant could be charged with criminally negligent homicide, based on the evidence.”
Continued Ferrarese, “At the time, Maricle had an order from Judge James E. Downey and he knew she should not have been in possession of any type of firearm. Because he acted negligently and killed Roxanne Shipman while doing so, he was charged with the criminal contempt as well.”
“The people believe he [Maricle] deserved a state prison sentence and we still believe that today,” said Ferrarese.
Maricle’s attorney John Cameron addressed the court as well.
“This entire period of time has been a terrible tragedy for the Shipman family,” said Cameron. “It is so tragic to lose someone so young. There is no denying that pain. My client has been incarcerated and will continue to be incarcerated, and after that he will pay for the costs from her funeral. He is responsible for her death. He knows this. He will live with this for the rest of his life.”
Cameron extended condolences to the Shipman family on behalf of the entire Public Defender’s Office.
Maricle then addressed the court.
“I just want to say that nothing I say or do can bring her back,” Maricle said. “I truly loved her. Every night when I close my eyes I have horrible nightmare and there is not a second that I don’t think about it.”
Revoir then explained to both Maricle and the packed courtroom on Eaton Avenue the sentence for the defendant.
“In this particular case, there is no real happy ending,” Revoir said. “The loss of Roxanne is tragic. I can’t replace her. No one can replace her. But due to a set of circumstances, sentencing is limited as well. Often, there are crimes before me that show criminal intent and with those there is extreme, lengthy prison time. In this case, there no intent alleged. My comments in no way are a lack of concern for the family, but criminally negligent homicide is a class E felony, the lowest in the state of New York.”
Revoir continued to explain that if the case went to trial, and Maricle found guilty, the maximum sentence would be one and a third to four years in state prison.
“Meaning you would serve 15 months unless you misbehaved,” Revoir said to Maricle. “The sentence I fashioned today, because you expressed remorse, is 12 months instead of 15, and to serve it here rather than in the State Department of Corrections.”
“I heard the grandfather, and I can’t say I wouldn’t give the same speech, but from the court’s perspective, I spared you three months because you stood up,” said Revoir. “No amount of time is going to bring Roxanne back. The void will be there forever.”
Revoir said, “Mr. Maricle, I do believe you are sincere. Therefore I am sentencing you to a one year definite sentence to be served at the Chenango County Correctional Facility, and restitution in the amount of $11,725.”
Revoir waived court fines, fees and surcharges.
Following the sentencing, Roxanne’s family expressed their displeasure with the outcome of the sentencing, and said that justice was not served for their daughter.
Ray said that despite his pleas to the judge, may have ‘heard’ him, but he did not ‘listen.’
Ray did express his gratitude to Norwich Police Detective-Sergeant Reuben Roach and to officer Ryan Legacy.
Roxanne’s parents said they try to cope daily with the loss of their daughter, but that Monday’s session in court was ‘useless’ and that, ‘a year in county jail is nothing.’
“Justice was not done. One year. Unbelievable. Eight months. That’s it. And Roxanne is gone forever,” said Ray. “Justice in Chenango County? I don’t think so.”