Man charged with felony for leaving dog to die

NEW LEBANON—A man who moved away and left his dog to die in the backyard in frigid temperatures now faces numerous animal cruelty charges under Agriculture and Market Law.

Andrew M. Tuthill, 32, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony; abandonment of a disabled animal and bail jumping, both misdemeanors; and failure to provide appropriate shelter for a dog, an infraction, by State Police, January 29, District Attorney Paul Czajka told The Columbia Paper this week.

Mr. Tuthill has two driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges pending, one in New Lebanon and the other in Stephentown (Rensselaer County), said DA Czajka.

He was charged with DWI in New Lebanon November 19, 2018 and when he failed to show up for his court date, a bench warrant for his arrest issued.

New Lebanon Trooper Timothy Sayles went to the address listed for Mr. Tuthill on Schoolhouse Road in West Lebanon to take him into custody, but did not find him. What the trooper did find was a dead dog frozen in a metal dog crate behind the house. The 10- to 15-pound, light brown dog with a shaggy coat was named Scrappy.

Upon further investigation, Trooper Sayles found out that Mr. Tuthill had moved away to a place on Route 43 in Stephentown. The trooper was able to contact Mr. Tuthill by phone and he later turned himself in at the New Lebanon barracks, said the DA.

The Columbia-Greene Humane Society and the local dog control officer were notified about Scrappy and Trooper Sayles took the dog to a veterinarian for necropsy. The results have not yet been received, Mr. Czajka said.

Mr. Tuthill was arraigned in New Lebanon Court and jailed in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or bond.

Mr. Czajka said as of February 5, Mr. Tuthill had made bail. He is currently represented by the Public Defender.

We will prosecute this case as a felony based on all the information we have right now,” the DA said.

*Edward Hidley, 49, of New Lebanon was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Samantha Plass, January 29 at 3:39 p.m.

Mr. Hidley is accused of having an altercation with a child less than 17 years old. He was arraigned in New Lebanon Court and was released on his own recognizance with a return date of March 14.


Olivia Armstrong, 28, of Niverville was charged with second degree obstructing governmental administration, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Matthew Leonard, January 19 at 7:43 a.m.

Ms. Armstrong is accused of attempting to prevent the deputy from investigating an emergency call at a private residence in Stockport. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Stockport Court at a later date.

Drugs / alcohol

The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

*Eden Kane, 45, of Valatie was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, a class U misdemeanor, by Deputies Ted Blank and Daniel Keyser, January 14 at 11:43 p.m. Columbia County 911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies for an erratic driver complaint on State Route 23 in Claverack. Deputies stopped the vehicle in question and administered field sobriety tests to operator, which she failed. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Claverack Court at a later date.

*Mark Caiola, 35, of New Marlborough, MA, was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C felony; seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; DWI, a class U misdemeanor; fifth degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class B misdemeanor; speeding and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle, both traffic infractions, by Sheriff’s Sergeant Heath Benansky and Deputy Zachary Torchia, January 15 at 11:46 p.m. Mr. Caiola was stopped on State Route 22 in Copake for speeding. Field sobriety tests were administered, which he failed. He allegedly possessed more than three grams of cocaine, a quantity of concentrated cannabis, and about 38 grams of marijuana. A breathalyzer test yielded a result of .15% blood alcohol content (BAC.) Mr. Caiola was arraigned in Claverack Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He was to appear in Copake Court at a later date.

*Kelsey Johnson, 25, of Castleton-on-Hudson was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; third degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a class U misdemeanor; unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation; and having an uninspected motor vehicle, a traffic infraction, by Deputy Peter Merante, January 18 at 8:21 a.m. Ms. Johnson was stopped on State Route 9H in Kinderhook for not having a valid inspection sticker. She was also allegedly operating a vehicle with a suspended license in New York. Additionally, she allegedly possessed of a quantity of heroin and marijuana. Tickets were issued, which are returnable in Kinderhook Town Court, February 12.

*Sarah E. Sroka, 25, of Athens was charged with DWI by State Police from SP Livingston, January 25. She was traveling on State Route 9 in Clermont when she was stopped for a vehicle and traffic law violation. An investigation revealed that she was impaired by alcohol and she was subsequently arrested.

*Stephen L. Morrison, 52, of Hudson was charged with DWI by State Police from SP Livingston, January 26. He was traveling on East Camp Road in Germantown when he arrived at a State Police incident scene. An investigation revealed that he was impaired by alcohol and he was subsequently arrested.

To contact Diane Valden email moc.r1563351388epapa1563351388ibmul1563351388oc@ne1563351388dlavd1563351388

Goats succumb in barn blaze. Seven fire companies were called out to fight a barn fire at 1422 Route 66, Ghent, between George Road and Petty Drive, February 2 at 7:03 a.m. County 911 dispatched West Ghent, Ghent, Stottville, Greenport, Claverack, Stockport and Mellenville firefighters to the scene, along with Greenport Rescue and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Channel 6 WRGB News reported that 14 goats died in the blaze that fire officials believe was caused by a heat lamp. Columbia County Fire Coordinators, the Ghent Highway crew and NYSEG assisted on scene. Firefighters were back in service at 11:21 p.m. Photo by Michael McCagg


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