A Look Back At Crime In 2017Posted: Updated:
The so-called Binghamton Bandit is busted in Philadelphia, a former Endicott firefighter is acquitted of arson and a string of violent crimes shut down Binghamton's after-hours clubs. Those are just a few of the crime stories that made headlines in 2017.
“My sentence pales in comparison to that which you'll receive on judgment day," says Judge Joseph Cawley in Broome County Court while sentencing Dwight Burton to life without parole.
Burton is the Johnson City man who set the 2015 apartment fire that killed two young boys.
In another arson trial, a jury acquitted former firefighter Jason Stokes, who was accused of setting fire to his home while his wife and kids were inside. The jury had been deadlocked and the "not guilty" verdict came down 45 minutes after an alternate juror was called in.
April proved to be a deadly month in the City of Binghamton with two homicides in just six days. That month, the city and Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell announced a crackdown on after-hours clubs, the locations of several homicides. By June, officials announced they had shut down the third and final known after hours club.
2017 also brought closure in a high-profile child sex abuse case. Samantha Stone Werkheiser was found guilty of sexually abusing a girl under the age of 13 for years. This was the second time the Werkheiser case went to trial.
In September, a Chenango County grand jury indicted two men accused of raping and killing an 11-year-old Morris girl, Jacelyn O'Connor. Prosecutors say suspects Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding and James Brower are a couple.
Federal agents in Michigan arrested a Binghamton man accused of being the ringleader of an online group of sexual predators. Christian Maire is facing numerous child porn charges.
Ten people in the Southern Tier faced federal drug charges in an Arizona to Binghamton meth-ring bust called Operation Hailstorm.
The man who fled the scene of a crash that killed Binghamton University volleyball player Stefani Lineva gets two months in jail. In December 2016, Lineva's body was found on the side of the road on Route 434 in Binghamton.
A state appellate court ruled Ganesh "Remy" Ramsaran will not get a new trial in the death of his estranged wife.
And 2017 saw more legal problems for Tioga County businessman Cal Harris. Harris faced new charges in the stalking case of a state police investigator and a December DWI arrest in Cortland. Police say Harris left the scene of the crash and had a blood alcohol level of .13%.