LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Felony forgery charges against former SUNY Geneseo student Carter Ellis were dismissed at the request of the defense attorney, Steve Sessler, on Friday after Ellis made bail and a scheduled felony hearing was not held to continue the case in lower court.
A Geneseo Village court order by Justice Thomas Bushnell dismissed the Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree charge, a class C felony, and returned bail money to Ellis, 20, but makes it clear that the order has no effect on the District Attorney’s ability to pursue an indictment by Grand Jury in this case.
“The dismissal is not insurmountable,” said Sessler. “The DA’s Office can still present their evidence to Grand Jury and pursue an indictment.”
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Tonra, who is handling the case, explained that the case will likely be presented to a Grand Jury.
“We didn’t have the felony hearing because it is designed to determine if a defendant can still be held in jail after 144 hours,” said ADA Tonra. “There was no reason to hold the hearing if he’s already out on bail.”
Sessler cited CPL § 180.70, which says that “At the conclusion of the hearing, the court must dispose of the felony complaint as follows: […] If there is not reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed any offense, the court must dismiss the felony complaint and discharge the defendant from custody if he is in custody, or, if he is at liberty on bail, it must exonerate the bail.”