Elmira man arrested with attempted robbery and assault charges

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM)- An Elmira man has been convicted with Attempted Robbery in the Second Degree, Attempted Robbery in the Third Degree, Assault in the Second Degree and Assault in the Third Degree.

Malcolme Richardson, 33, of Elmira was convicted on July 12.

The indictment handed up by a Grand Jury in 2018 stemmed from an attempted robbery of the Quality Beverage located at 1137 Maple Avenue on September 20, 2016.

At about 8:37 p.m. on that date, a masked man entered the store while the store owner, the only person in the business at the time, was working behind the counter. The assailant wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a mask and gloves, carried a plastic bag in one hand and a red bandana wrapped around a Playstation game controller in the other. The owner intercepted him before he could get to the cash register and a vicious fight ensued.

The owner was badly beaten sustaining a broken nose and various cuts and bruises. During the course of the fight, the assailant’s left sneaker came off and was left at the scene. The assailant fled the store without having obtained any money or property.

Following the incident, there were few leads developed.

Months later, however, police were notified that DNA evidence was obtained from the sneaker left at the scene. The DNA presumptively matched a known offender in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) – that being Malcolme Richardson who at the time of the incident lived with his wife on E. Miller Street not far from Quality Beverage.

In court proceedings that followed, police obtained a court order allowing them to take a DNA control sample directly from Richardson. When the known control sample was compared to the DNA mixture profile from the sneaker, it was concluded that Richardson’s DNA was included in that mixture.

At trial Richardson’s wife testified on his behalf as to an alibi saying that he was with her at the Arnot Hospital at the time of the incident visiting his sister who had a baby.

She testified that they left the hospital together at 9:30 p.m., dropped off a friend at the friends’ house in Elmira, and then went to Horseheads to pick up their children. The prosecution, however, was able to show that the friend Mrs. Richardson claimed was with them who they dropped off after leaving the hospital, could not have been with them at the hospital until 9:30 because at 7:41 p.m., the friend was at home in Elmira calling the police regarding an unrelated incident.

Richardson has two prior felony convictions including robbery and felony drug possession in 2009. Richardson had been released to parole in June, 2016, not long prior to the incident at Quality Beverage.

Attempted Robbery Second Degree and Assault Second Degree are class D violent felony offenses. Because Richardson’s prior robbery conviction was also a violent felony, his sentence on the two D violent felony convictions must be at least 5 years and could be up to a maximum of 7 years, with 5 years post-release supervision following his release.

The trial commenced on Monday, July 8, 2019 with jury selection and concluded with verdicts Friday after about an hour of deliberation.

The Honorable Richard W. Rich presided over the trial. Prosecuting the case was Chief Assistant District Attorney John R. Thweatt. Defending Richardson was Luke Z. Fenchel and Associates of Ithaca. Sentencing in the matter was scheduled for August 23, 2019.

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