Jacquetta Simmons Found Guilty
Jacquetta Simmons has been found guilty.The 27-year old Batavia woman was found guilty of 2nd Degree Assault under New York’s Elder Law in Genesee County Court Friday afternoon.
It took a jury of 10 women and two men about 3 and half hours to reach a unanimous verdict that Simmons did in fact deliberately punch 70-year old Grace Suozzi at Wal-Mart last Christmas Eve.
A stone faced Simmons left the courthouse immediately after, she was released on her on accord until her sentencing date.
The jurors came to their decision after asking to watch the surveillance footage from Wal-Mart several times.
Defense Attorney Earl Key said he plans to appeal the case.
"The video is unclear. I don’t know what they saw. In certain spots the video is not very clear, I don’t know if they saw it the way I saw it," said Key.
District Attorney Larry Friedman said he feels Simmons did get a fair trial and justice was served for Grace Suozzi. He said he feels jurors wanted to look at the surveillance footage a few times to be certain. He talks about the video.
"You know it was not 100 % coverage of every step and that was established through the man who testified from Wal-Mart but, it was quite good I think and obviously if you had every possible view on what was happening that might have made this an even quicker verdict," said Friedman.
Key also said he felt media coverage definitely hurt Simmons chance at a fair trial. He said that during jury selection there were more people that heard about the case then those that did not.
However, Friedman disagreed. "We went through an unusually large number of people to seat a jury. Obviously there were a lot of people who came through saying they had seen coverage, way more than we’re used to, and they had formed an opinion and, unfortunately, many people said they couldn’t set those opinions aside, and of course they didn’t wind up on the jury," said Friedman.
He noted that the media was not allowed to use their cameras and equipment until the very end.
Simmons will be sentenced on November 14th. She faces probation to up to 7 years in prison.
New Parking Policy at Darien Lake to be Tested Tonight
Nearly 22,000 people are expected to come out for the Jason Aldean concert tonight.
The County Sheriff’s Office says a large number of patrons attendance is the true test of the new rule that was put into effect about not parking on Sumner road, which is designed to improve traffic flow, safety and help stop underage drinking outside the park.
“It is a large concert, and it is the first large concert since Darien Lake put in this ‘no pedestrian, no foot traffic’ policy. So, we do expect there to be some confusion even though the news has covered this story. We do expect some people to still not know that they can’t walk into the concert like they have in the past.”
Darien Lake officials felt like the Def Leppard concert was a good trial run and all went smoothly.
This concert, however, will have a significantly greater attendance but County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble says that all parking lot owners have been informed of new policies and there is an increased amount of security.
“All of the private lot owners have been informed so we would like to think that the private lot owners will fully inform the people parking there of what can be done and what can’t be done,” says Dibble. “We have sufficient staff. Police officer staff, law enforcement staff, and I know Darien Lake has increased security up there.”
Those attending the concert are encouraged to come early to ensure that they are able to get in prior to the concert with no confusion.
Genesee County Car Seat Check
There will be a car seat check in Genesee County this morning. The safety seat check is a combined effort of the County Sheriffs Office, LeRoy Police and the Batavia Fire Department and it's sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer.
According to the National Highway TSA 72% of car seats are installed improperly and if they are installed correctly the safety seats decrease risk of fatalities for infants by 71% and 54% for children 1 to 4 years old.
Ranzenhofer said just because the seat feels snug and it’s not moving around a lot, doesn’t mean the seat is safe.
“There is no more valuable cargo than the kids in your back seat and year after year studies have shown and we found when we do these is that a lot of parents, grandparents have difficulty properly installing the car seat and their folks with the sheriffs office and other police agents that have been specially trained to deal with the thousands of models of cars and car seats that there are so you can put your child in there safely,” said Ranzenhofer.
The car seat check will take place in Batavia Saturday from 10a.m. until noon at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.