LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The Tuscarora (a hamlet of Mount Morris) resident whose fit of rage while armed against his roomate triggered a hostage-situation response from police pled guilty to felony weapon possession charges in county court Thursday morning.
Chad Wildrick, 23, tried in vain to school Judge Dennis Cohen in the law from the defendant’s table, claiming that it was not, in fact, illegal for a person to possess a rifle in New York State, but wound up pleading guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, with a sentence recommendation of 1 to 3 years in prison from the District Attorney’s Office.
“Possessing a rifle is not illegal per se,” said Wildrick, alongside his attorney Ann Connor. “And I do not have a prior felony conviction.”
Assistant District Attorney Victor Rowcliffe pointed out that while Wildrick does not have any prior felonies, special information indicates that he does have an conviction for Unlawful Imprisonment, an A misdemeanor, out of Attica stemming from 2010.
“Criminal Possession of a Weapon is possessing a dangerous or deadly weapon with intent to use it unlawfully against another,” said Judge Cohen. “And your prior misdemeanor conviction bumps it to a felony. Do you understand that?”
Wildrick was remanded to the Livingston County Jail without bail in light of his guilty plea.
The incident occurred on May 7 when Wildrick apparently got into an argument with his then roomate, and wielded a loaded AR-type tactical rifle, striking the victim with the rifle stock at one point.
Police converged on the scene fully prepared to deal with a hostage situation. The Livingston County 911 Center used social media and text message alerts to advise and update local residents on the situation, and the Sheriff’s Office took Wildrick peaceably into custody.
In June, DA Greg McCaffrey said that Wildrick is exhibiting homicidal tendencies in jail, and was being kept away from other inmates.