GENESEO – The Geneseo couple charged with felonies for allegedly taking over $1,000 of hay and selling some of it say that they moved the hay to prevent a fire.
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The accused say that criminal charges are inappropriate because the hay was removed from property that they rent to reduce a fire hazard there.
“The hay was not stolen from a farm as reported,” said Rod Simpson. “The hay was cut out of a pasture we rent and stored without permission in a barn we also rent which both are located on the property we both live on. So for removing wet hay that would have caught fire from a barn on property we legally rent and have the use of – we got charged for this. So to set the story straight, we did not and would not go to someone’s farm and take hay. All we did after numerous attempts to have it removed was prevent a fire that we would have been responsible for.”
Simpson’s fiancée re-iterated this and said that they tried to contact the hay’s rightful owner numerous times before moving it.
“I pay rent on this property and the barn,” said Jodi Giammona. “This person cut my horse pasture and tried to use the old barn for storage..mind you the hay was baled severely wet and he was told to get the hay off property before it caught fire to the barn an property..the hay was smoldering…with no permission asked…so after 7 months he comes looking for this hay..after numerous attempts of messages…the hay is gone….before Geneseo caught fire.”
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office charged Simpson and Giammona with one count each of felony Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. Livingston County Chief Deputy Matt Burgess said that the investigation alleges that Simpson and Giammona sold some of the hay.
They are both released with no bail required and will return to court at a later date.