Caden Charnetski transferred to state prison after COVID-19 delay


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Caden Charnetski has been transferred from the Chemung County Jail to the New York State prison system as part of his 1-3 year sentence for the deaths of Matthew and Harolyn Matteson in 2018, according to the state’s prison notification system.

Charnetski was originally sentenced in 2019 for vehicular manslaughter after the Mattesons were ejected from a motorcycle in a head-on accident with Charnetski’s car on Westinghouse Road in Horseheads on July 10, 2018.

Prosecutors argued that Charnetski was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.

Following sentencing Charnetski was released on $25,000 cash/$50,000 property bond for an appeal, which was denied in Nov. 2020. Charnetski then reported to the Chemung County Jail, but due to COVID-19, the state prison system was unable to accept him as a new prisoner.

Charnetski is believed to be at the Elmira Correctional Facility for orientation and may eventually be transferred elsewhere.

During the September appeal, Charnetski’s attorney Ray Schlather spoke for more than 20 minutes to open the hearing, arguing that the case was a matter of two words: science and marijuana. Slather argued that there is a lack of consensus on how marijuana affects a driver and that there was no scientific correlation between THC levels and impairment.

Slather also argued that there were errors in the crash analysis such as the speed and weight of the motorcycle prior to the crash.

Chemung County Assistant District Attorney William D. Vandelinder argued that the case does involve science, but that the effects of marijuana on a person are known and that Charnetski didn’t have the ability to react to the Matteson’s motorcycle.

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