Court Upholds Manslaughter Conviction
A state appellate court has upheld the manslaughter conviction of a Snye, Quebec man for shooting to death a man found in his burning home on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation more than four years ago.
Richard "Dickie" Oakes claimed his attorney coerced him into pleading guilty to manslaughter and burglary charges.
He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in November 2010.
Oakes and his girlfriend, Ronda Amber Dufoe of Akwesasne, were both convicted in the death of 44 year old Thomas Hathaway.
Hathaway's body was found inside his burning South Helena Road home in September 2008 with two gunshot wounds to his head.
Oakes claimed he had been set up and denied killing Hathaway.
Dufoe claimed Hathaway was killed for repeatedly sexually abusing her and her twin sister when they were younger.
The Appellate Court ruled that Oakes' guilty plea "was made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently."
Oakes is serving his sentence at Auburn Correctional Facility.
Saturday, May 18, 2013, Watertown, NY
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