Coat thief gets up to 3 years in prison; trial set in robbery with ax

An Oneida man convicted of injuring a security officer at JCPenney in Rome while trying to steal a woman’s jacket will spend the next one to three years in state prison.

Matthew A. Martin, 40, of 122 Vanderbilt Ave., was sentenced by County Court Judge Michael L. Dwyer March 2 to 1 1/2 to three years in prison and was ordered to pay $375 in court fees on a charge of attempted second-degree robbery.

A separate theft case from Rome City Court, involving two television sets from Wal-Mart, was dismissed as part of Martin’s County Court plea.

Police said at 5:42 p.m. Nov. 29, Martin tried to steal a woman’s jacket and a pair of gloves from JCPenney on Erie Boulevard West. Police said he tried to hide the items under his clothing, and was confronted by two loss prevention officers. Police said Martin struggled with the two officers, one of whom received a small cut on his hand during the scuffle.

Nearly one month later, at 3:53 a.m. Dec. 21, police said Martin stole both a 32-inch and a 22-inch television from Wal-Mart. He was found with the TVs on West Dominick Street two hours later, and was taken into custody.

Also in County Court:

¿ A trial date was set at March 28 for George J. Wishart, 31, of 1114 W. Dominick St., charged with first-degree robbery.

Authorities said at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 24, Wishart was brandishing a two-handed ax when he and an accomplice robbed Lombino’s Market at 804 Floyd Ave. Both men were wearing masks, and Wishart menaced the clerk with the ax. The two men stole cash and lottery tickets before fleeing into a nearby wooded area. The accomplice has not yet been caught.

¿ William VanPatten, 48, of 122 Main St., Oneida, pleaded guilty before Judge Dwyer March 1 to attempted first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor. His case was adjourned for sentencing to May 3.

According to court documents, VanPatten sent sexual materials to a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl in Utica in December. Authorities said VanPatten was actually chatting with an undercover police officer via text message, and he sent the officer pictures of his genitals thinking it was a teen-age girl. When VanPatten arranged to meet the ‘girl’ in person, he was instead met by the authorities.

¿ Kefim Baptiste, 29, of 509 W. Thomas St., Rome, pleaded guilty before Judge Dwyer Feb. 25 to third-degree robbery. His case was adjourned for sentencing to April 13.

According to court documents, Baptiste stole another man’s wallet in Verona on Sept. 18. Police said Baptiste threatened to shoot the man, but no weapon was displayed.

¿ Javell Fox, 28, of 113 Kossuth St., was sentenced by Judge Barry M. Donalty Feb. 24 to 5 1/2 years in prison, with three years of post-release supervision, on one count each of third-degree possession of a controlled substance and second-degree possession of a forged instrument.

The indictment said on Aug. 20, Fox was found in Rome with eight separate counterfeit U.S. Post Office money orders, each worth $950. He was also found with a quantity of cocaine.

¿ A trial date was set at April 25 for Lashorn Sparrow, 39, of 18 Redsfield St., Whitesboro, charged with second-degree assault and second-degree obstruction.

The indictment said on Nov. 5, Sparrow was pulled over in Utica because the passenger in his car was wanted on an arrest warrant by the U.S. Marshals. During the stop, authorities said Sparrow hit the gas and struck one of the deputy marshals with his vehicle. Law enforcers pursued Sparrow to Campion Road in New Hartford.

¿ Billie Goode, 29, of 1022 W. Colvin St., Syracuse, pleaded guilty before Judge Donalty to petty larceny, reduced from fourth-degree grand larceny. Her case was adjourned for sentencing to May 4.

Authorities said at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 8, Goode stole more than $1,000 worth of merchandise from the Wal-Mart in New Hartford. When security guards tried to stop her, police said Goode swung her baby-carrier at them, with her 3-year-old daughter still inside.