Man Charged With False Report In Murder Probe
There is a bizarre twist in the murder investigation of 12 year old Garrett Phillips of Potsdam..
Richard O'Hanlon, 65, of 18 Sisson Street, Potsdam, was freed on probation supervision Thursday night after being charged with six misdemeanor counts of third degree falsely reporting an Incident, obstructing governmental administration and identity theft.
Police charge O'Hanlon sent two e-mail letters to them in December 2011, which was two months after Phillips' October 24, 2011 strangulation, and again on August 8, 2013. The letters, which were sent from computers at the Potsdam Public Library and the Woodgate Public Library, near Forrestport, NY, fictitiously claimed to be from four other Potsdam men confessing to the child's murder.
The e-mails also claimed the men sexually molested Phillips before killing him.
O'Hanlon told 7 News Reporter John Friot he sent the false e-mails because he was angry at the individuals.
"I was just so angry at someone," he said, "I was angry at two people here."
Police told Friot O'Hanlon's actions were a distraction and wasted police time and manpower.
"Unfortunately, the letters acted in a way that not only diverted resources and energy away from the actual investigation that is most important to us," Potsdam Police Lt. Mark Murray said, "it also could have potentially muddied the waters had we not identified the author of those letters."