Woman charged with endangering nursing home patient

GHENT—A health care worker wanted for endangering a nursing home patient turned herself over to authorities in response to a post on the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Michelana Howard, 23, of Hudson was charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, a class E felony, according to a March 10 press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

An investigation began in October 2020 when Deputy Ryen Boehme received a complaint from an area nursing home reporting the improper behavior of an employee. The Special Victims Unit of the Sheriff’s Office was brought in to assist with the investigation. A charge for endangering the welfare of an incompetent person was drafted based on alleged actions of Ms. Howard.

She was given several opportunities to turn herself in, which officials say she declined. The Sheriff’s Office posted a wanted poster on its Facebook page to solicit assistance from the public in regards to Ms. Howard’s whereabouts. “We received several calls and tips from the public based on our Facebook post,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the release.

On March 8 at 10:14 a.m. Ms. Howard turned herself in at the Sheriff’s Office to Deputy Steven Rose. She was arraigned in Ghent Court before Justice Michael Bruno and released on her own recognizance. She is due to return to Ghent Court April 5 to address the charge. This case was handled by Deputy Ryen Boehme and he was assisted by Senior Investigator Mark Dunspaugh of the Special Victims Unit.

I believe the posting is directly responsible for Howard turning herself in. I am grateful for the community assistance in getting her to come in. The elderly are a vulnerable population in our society and deserve better. I commend the health care worker that brought this case to light, so that this type of behavior could be dealt with appropriately. The members of the Sheriff’s Office that investigated this case did a thorough job, I am pleased with their work,” the sheriff said.

Chatham

State Police responded to a 911 call at an address on State Route 203 in the Town of Chatham for an unresponsive infant March 15 at 3:30 p.m.

Arriving troopers employed lifesaving techniques which were subsequently taken over by paramedics from Valatie Rescue Squad, but the infant did not survive, according to a press release from State Police.

Investigators from the SP Livingston barracks responded. The investigation remains ongoing.

Copake

Dominik Eckstein, 55, of Copake was arrested for Agricultural and Markets Law Animal Cruelty violations by Deputy Brian McSween, March 2 at 12:08 p.m.

While at a local farm on County Route 7A in Copake on an unrelated matter, sheriff’s patrols were told about several sheep that were malnourished and in need of sustenance, according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

Deputy McSween initiated an investigation which included the Columbia-Greene Humane Society and a local veterinary clinic. A veterinarian from the clinic and an investigator from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) met Deputy McSween at the farm to conduct a thorough investigation. Upon examination, the sheep were found to be lacking food and water.

Additionally, 11 dead sheep that were not properly disposed of were found.

Mr. Eckstein was charged with failure to provide sustenance and care to an animal, a class A misdemeanor, and unlawful disposal of dead animals, a violation.

No animals were removed” from the farm, according to CGHS/SPCA President Ron Perez. Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lieutenant John Rivero said he did not know how many sheep remain on the farm, but said a follow-up care plan was set up with the local vet who responded. Mr. Eckstein was issued tickets to appear in Copake Court March 25 to answer the charges.

Deputy McSween is one of several deputies that has specialized training in animal cruelty investigations. He was the right deputy for this case and he did a great job. I am also grateful to Ron Perez from the Humane Society (ASPCA) and the Copake Veterinary Office for responding to the scene to assist,” said Sheriff Bartlett.

Greenport

A Hudson man was arrested for allegedly bringing drugs into the Columbia County Correctional Facility.

Kent Standtlander, 30, of Hudson was arrested on a warrant for bringing dangerous drugs into the Columbia County Correctional Facility, February 24 at 6 a.m., according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

Mr. Standtlander came into the Columbia County Jail February 21 to serve part of his intermittent sentence. During intake procedures he was found to allegedly possess pills that were identified as controlled substances and are prohibited in the correctional facility. Corrections personnel collected and secured the illegal contraband and preserved it for law enforcement personnel, who took over the case. Mr. Stadtlander was charged with possession of a dangerous controlled substance in a detention center, a class D felony; seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor, and possessing a controlled substance not in its original container, a violation of Public Health Law. A warrant for the arrest of Mr. Standtlander was signed by Greenport Justice Barry Sack. Mr. Stadtlander was taken into custody when he was released from his intermittent stay by Deputies Michael Meier and Timothy Gladwin. Mr. Stadtlander was arraigned before Stockport Justice Malcolm Smalley and remanded to the Columbia County Jail with no bail. He was scheduled to return to Greenport Court at a later date.

I am very pleased at the job done by Correction Officers Casey Miller and Corrections Sergeant Scot Dallas. Their attention to detail and sharp eyes, were able to locate this contraband before it made it to the general population area of the jail. Their coordination with Sergeant Jason Garvey allowed for this case to lead to a solid arrest,” the sheriff said.

*Ian M. Smith, 41, of Canaan was arrested following a three-vehicle accident on State Route 23B in Greenport, February 16 at 6:28 p.m. He was allegedly at fault for the accident in which someone sustained minor injuries.

Mr. Smith allegedly initially gave his brother’s name and date of birth to Deputy Matthew Leonard. Deputy Leonard determined that Mr. Smith was impersonating his brother to prevent the deputy from finding out that his own driving privileges were suspended in New York. Mr. Smith was charged with second degree criminal impersonation, a class A misdemeanor; third degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a class U misdemeanor, and following too closely for his culpability in the accident. He was issued appearance tickets returnable in Greenport Court at a later date.

Germantown

Columbia County Control dispatched Germantown firefighters and Northern Dutchess Paramedics to the Dollar General, 4301 Route 9G, for an outdoor propane leak, February 26 at 4:21 p.m., according to a report from Columbia County 911.

A March 1 press release from the Dollar Store General Corporation announced that the store “is now open.” It apparently opened a few days prior to that date.

Firefighters from Livingston, Tivoli, Clermont, Greenport and Hudson responded to provide mutual aid. The Columbia and Greene County Hazmat Team, NYS Hazmat team and CC Fire Coordinators assisted on scene. Amerigas and Valley Energy were summoned. Fire officials on the scene reported that a delivery truck struck an outdoor tank. Firefighters were back in service at 3:56 a.m.

On February 28 at 10:46 a.m., County 911 again called Germantown firefighters and Northern Dutchess Paramedics to the new store, this time for an “indoor smoke investigation.”

Livingston, Clermont, Tivoli and Hudson firefighters responded to provide mutual aid.

County Fire Coordinators and State Police assisted on scene and the Germantown building inspector was called in. Fire officials on the scene said there was an issue with the air handler on roof. Firefighters were back in service at 12:23 p.m.

Philmont

Raymond DeJoy, 38, of Philmont was charged with second degree menacing with a weapon, a class A misdemeanor; fourth degree criminal possession of weapon (with intent to use), a class A misdemeanor, and second degree harassment by Deputy Stephen Naegeli, February 17 at 9:08 a.m.

He was charged following an altercation in the Village of Philmont. He was arraigned in Philmont Court before Village Justice Carla Ingersoll. He was released on his own recognizance to return March 25 for further court proceedings.

Niverville

Bradley Briggs, 30, of Niverville was charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, at a Parker Hall Road address, by Deputy Michael Pozzi, February 6 at 9:02 p.m.

The arrest came following an investigation that determined he allegedly violated a valid court order.

Mr. Briggs was arraigned in Kinderhook Town Court before Justice Lisa Mills and was sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail. He is due back in Kinderhook Court at a later date.

Claverack

Maurice Morrison, 22, of Catskill was arrested for violating a court order by Deputy Peter Merante, February 27 at 3:26 p.m. Mr. Morrison was found to be in a vehicle with a protected party following a traffic stop on Fish and Game Club Road, Claverack, in violation of the full-stay-away Claverack Court order. He was charged with second degree criminal contempt and disobeying a court order, a class A misdemeanor. He was arraigned before Claverack Justice Michael Brandon and released on his own recognizance to return to court at a later date.

Drugs/alcohol

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

*Michael Hurst, 35, of Stottville was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor, and second degree unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by Deputy Matthew Leonard, February 7 at 9:15 p.m. Mr. Hurst was stopped at a sobriety check point on State Route 23 near the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. He was found to allegedly possess a quantity of cocaine and marijuana. He was issued appearance tickets and released to return to Greenport Court at a later date.

*Ram Kapica, 26, of the Bronx was charged with fourth degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class A misdemeanor, and traffic infractions by Deputies Timothy Gladwin and John Sullivan, February 9 at 1:19 a.m.

Mr. Kapica allegedly possessed marijuana during a traffic stop on the Taconic State Parkway in Taghkanic. He was issued appearance tickets and released to return to Taghkanic Court at a later date.

*Cary D. Jones, 28, of Hillsdale was charged with third degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class E felony and seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor, during a traffic stop on State Route 23 in Claverack, February 26 at 8:37 a.m. Mr. Jones was a passenger in a car that was stopped for vehicle and traffic violations. He was found to allegedly possess marijuana. He was issued tickets to appear in Claverack Court March 23. He was arrested by Sergeant Heath Benansky and Deputy Phillipp Gomm with assistance offered by canine Apollo at the scene.

Columbia County

State Police from the Livingston barracks conducted an Underage Drinking Initiative throughout Columbia County, February 18. During this initiative, 12 retail establishments were checked for compliance using a plain-clothed trooper and an underage operative with a valid New York driver’s license. This operation led to the arrest of two men for violating the state Alcohol Beverage Control Law for selling alcohol to a minor.

Scott W. Folmsbee, 50, of Stuyvesant, employed at the Xtra Mart Gas Station on Route 9 in Kinderhook, was issued an appearance ticket for prohibited sale of an alcoholic beverage, a class A misdemeanor, returnable in Kinderhook Town Court at a later date.

Tyler N. Briggs, 22, of Canaan, employed at Love’s Truck Stop on Route 22 in Canaan, was issued an appearance ticket for prohibited sale of an alcoholic beverage, a class A misdemeanor, returnable in Canaan Court at a later date.

In addition, both businesses face possible civil penalties imposed by the State Liquor Authority.

State Police routinely conduct underage drinking enforcement operations throughout the state in an effort to curb alcohol abuse and DWI incidents involving teenagers.

To contact Diane Valden email .

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