Judge tosses shotgun, pistol evidence seized in Ogdensburg
CANTON, New York (WWNY) - A judge has tossed out evidence seized by Ogdensburg police last year.
Police said they found a loaded semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun with an attached grenade launcher, concussion explosive munitions, and a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol inside the vehicle Curtis Redmond, 32, was driving.
Redmond was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. It happened on July 14, 2021.
But in a decision Tuesday, Franklin County Court Judge Craig Carriero determined the police didn’t have the right to search the vehicle.
And the judge called into question the sworn testimony of Ogdensburg City Police Chief Mark Kearns, who was - at the time of Redmond’s arrest - a lieutenant in the police department.
Where this leaves the case against Redmond is unclear; St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gray Pasqua said Wednesday his office will review the judge’s decision, and decide whether to appeal it.
Ogdensburg city manager Stephen Jellie told 7 News Wednesday “the judge absolutely got it wrong in this case. I find it hard to believe that this judge, who just a few months ago was a district attorney, would have thought this way.”
The judge ruled “the contents of the motor vehicle did not present a specific and actual danger to the officers on scene,” so they couldn’t claim they had a right to search the vehicle without a warrant under what’s known as the “emergency doctrine.”
And as it turns out, a neighbor to the property where Redmond stopped had an outside video camera which captured the entire police examination of the vehicle.
According to the judge’s decision, then-Lieutenant Kearns testified he went into the vehicle only once in the first hour after Redmond parked it, and police went looking for him. Kearns said he saw a gun case on the back seat, which he secured.
Kearns, at a hearing earlier this summer, testified he did not continue to search the vehicle, or ever open the trunk.
But the judge notes in his decision that video camera footage from the neighbor’s camera shows Kearns entering the vehicle six times, including searching the trunk.
“The Court acknowledges that over a year has elapsed since the incident and these hearings,” the judge wrote.
“However, the testimonial description of a limited intrusion into the vehicle is completely contradicted by the video evidence.”
Redmond’s lawyer, Ed Narrow, said Wednesday “Their testimony did not match the video evidence.”
“Mr. Redmond is happy with the decision.”
Jellie called Redmond a “known bad actor,” and said “It could have been a really dangerous situation - they found a grenade launcher in the car.
“Had this individual had that kind of weapon with him in the woods, this could have been a really dangerous situation for officers,” Jellie said.
7 News reached out to Chief Kearns. If we hear back, we’ll update this story.
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