Roughly 300 people, some disabled, were forced to flee the Olbiston Apartments in Utica early one September morning when a Rome man, Aaron McClain, ignited a fire on the seventh-floor of the Genesee Street landmark.
Law enforcers said he lit the blaze to try and cover up an attempted shooting from the night before.
McClain, 27, of 500 N. George St., admitted to both the fire and the shooting before County Court Judge Barry M. Donalty on Jan. 13. He pleaded guilty to second-degree arson, attempted first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree possession of a weapon. McClain could face 11 years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 1.
Authorities said at 12:25 a.m. Sept. 17, 2010, McClain shot at another man outside the Olbiston. Police responded to the reports of shots fired, but found no suspects.
Then at about 6 a.m., authorities said McClain ignited a blaze inside the apartment building to try and cover up the shooting. According to the indictment, about 300 residents were forced to flee for their lives as the fire spread and smoke filled the building. Several firefighters also rushed inside during the fire to help get people out. No one was seriously injured, but the apartment building was shut down for several days.
Also in County Court:
¿ Jason Parise, 27, of 402 Riverside Drive, was sentenced by Judge Donalty Jan. 17 to four years in prison, followed by two years of post-release supervision, was ordered to pay $750 in court fees and had his license suspended for six months on one count each of unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine and fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance.
On Aug. 1, Rome Police said they raided 402 Riverside Drive and uncovered the first known meth house in the city. Police said they found numerous portable methamphetamine labs cooking on every floor of the residence, including the basement, the living area and primarily in the attic. Parise was taken into custody, then was later released on bail.
Police said on Dec. 8, Parise was back in Rome selling methamphetamine. He was taken into custody again.
¿ A trial date was set at March 19 for Sandra Chamberlain, 41, of 9999 Wolcott Hill Road, Camden, charged with leaving the scene of a serious motor vehicle accident.
Authorities said at about 11:25 p.m. June 6, Chamberlain was eastbound on Route 69 when she struck pedestrian Michael Beasock, age 20, between the intersections of Humaston Road and Pinebrook Lane, near Wal-Mart. Authorities said Chamberlain fled the scene, but neighbors noticed the damage to her vehicle and called law enforcers.
Beasock was treated for his injuries at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica.
¿ Reuel Vandenbosch, 41, of 1703 Mulholland Road, Vienna, was sentenced by Judge Michael L. Dwyer Jan. 12 to three years in prison, followed by two years of post-release supervision, and was ordered to pay $375 in court fees on a charge of second-degree strangulation.
Authorities said at 1 a.m. Sept. 18, Vandenbosch punched and choked his female companion in Vienna. Responding deputies found the woman lying unresponsive on the floor. She became conscious shortly thereafter and told the officers about the attack.
¿ Nicholas D. Salay, 23, of 7941 Route 13, Vienna, was sentenced by Judge Dwyer Jan. 13 to six months in jail, five years probation, 200 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $700 in court fees on one count each of third-degree burglary and first-degree contempt.
According to court documents, Salay broke into a building on the Oneida Indian Nation along Route 31 in Verona to commit a larceny on May 18. Authorities said Salay was found with a crowbar and a sledgehammer. Authorities said Salay violated an order of protection in Vienna on June 4, which had been filed against him on behalf of a woman.
¿ Robert A. Verdgeline, 41, of 132 Third St., pleaded guilty before Judge Donalty Jan. 18 to third-degree burglary. His case was adjourned for sentencing to Feb. 29.
Police said on four separate occasions, Verdgeline broke into a Mill Street building owned by the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Authorities said Verdgeline broke into the building sometime between Aug. 19 and 22, then again sometime between Sept. 9 and 12, and then twice more on Oct. 2 and Nov. 6.
Authorities said Verdgeline entered a locked basement office and stole cash to support a crack cocaine habit.
¿ Van M. Williams, 30, of 179 Clinton Road, New Hartford, was sentenced by Judge Donalty Jan. 18 to three months house arrest, 10 years probation and was ordered to pay $1,425 in court fees on a charge of first-degree sex abuse.
The indictment said on Aug. 6, Williams broke into a residence on Irish Ridge Road in Verona and sexually abused a physically helpless woman inside.