Afternoon News Brief

Written by on June 1, 2022

Makeen Ithna-Asheri

A Genesee County grand jury has indicted a Batavia man on charges that he failed to help his wife or call for help, while she was overdosing on drugs. 61-year-old Makeen Ithna-Asheri is charged with second-degree manslaughter due to recklessly causing the death of his wife; also included are two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police also said he prevented his children from calling by taking their phone away. The couple both overdosed that night, police said, with Ithna-Asheri recovering before police and medics arrived. Attempts were made to revive his wife but failed. The manslaughter charge is a class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Ithna-Asheri is already on lifetime parole because of a 1977 murder conviction in Suffolk County when he was 17 years old.


Attica Correctional Facility

A corrections officer at the Attica Correctional Facility was stabbed with a makeshift knife. This occurred during a brawl in the mess hall last Friday. The officer was coming to the aid of an inmate who was being attacked by several other inmates. Three other inmates then joined in as two officers ordered them to stop. The inmates ignored the officers. More officers arrived to assist and the three inmates who joined the fight fled and attempted to mix in with other inmates as the initial attacker kept trying to stab the inmate. An officer was treated for a stab wound in the left hand. All five inmates involved in the fight were placed in Special Housing Units pending disciplinary charges.


Richard Steen

53-year-old Richard Steen of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, and menacing. He was arrested by deputies after they responded to a call of a disturbance in the evening of May 27, at a residence on Cole Road, Le Roy. Steen allegedly displayed a long gun in a threatening manner and allegedly shot a camper causing damage to it. He was arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court and released.


26-year-old Megan Courtney of Batavia has been charged with grand larceny and three counts of filing a false instrument. She is accused of failing to report that the father of her children was residing in her home and earning income; as a result, she allegedly received $6830 in SNAP benefits that she was not eligible to receive.  Similarly, 30-year-old Chandah Sundown of Batavia faces multiple charges, including grand larceny. She is accused of failing to report the father of her children was residing with her and earning income. This resulted in Sundown allegedly receiving $8353 in SNAP benefits she should not have received. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance.


38-year-old Thomas Wolcott of Batavia is charged with criminal contempt. He is accused of violating an order of protection. Wolcott was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $10,000 bail.



After weeks of having to hand over a lot of money to fill up their vehicles, New York drivers are finally getting a little relief at the gas pumps today. That’s because a gas tax holiday that was approved as part of this year’s state budget is now in effect. The suspension of the state’s 16-cents-per gallon tax is going to remain in place through the end of December. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Batavia is $4.85, up two cents from yesterday.


Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is calling for the country’s leaders to come up with a solution to put an end to ongoing gun violence. Brown hosted a virtual conference yesterday during which other mayors from around the state joined him. In the last few weeks, there have been shootings in Buffalo and Texas that took the lives of dozens of people. Democrats in Congress are calling for additional gun legislation, but many Republicans believe other methods to prevent mass shootings should be considered including increasing access to mental health care. And the New York State Assembly and Senate are currently reviewing 10 new bills that have come up for approval that have to do with guns and stopping shooters before they can hurt others.


NYS Capitol Building

Governor Hochul and the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly have introduced a package of bills that are aimed at toughening the state’s gun laws. The measures would make threatening mass harm a crime, require information between state, local and federal agencies be shared when guns are used in crimes and require microstamping for new guns. Another bill would raise the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21-years-old and a license would be needed prior to purchase. Lawmakers are expected to vote on these measures before the legislative session ends tomorrow.


Brittanee Drexel

A coroner in South Carolina says the cause of death of a 17-year-old girl from Chili is undetermined. The coroner said due to the condition of Brittanee Drexel’s remains, strangulation could not be confirmed. Drexel was last seen alive in April 2009 while she was on vacation in Myrtle Beach. Police recently arrested Raymond Moody in connection with this case and charged him with murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct.


Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is donating 3300 concert tickets to the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency. The concert tickets are good for the June 10th ‘Bruce in the USA’ charity concert, and the 11 concerts in the Rockin’ The Downs series starting on June 17th.



Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame High School Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation will take place on June 5th; they will be celebrating the accomplishments of Seniors. Members of the graduating class of 1972 (50 years ago) will also be honored.




A local Boy Scout leader and employee in the Greece Central School District is in trouble with the law after being accused of a disturbing crime. According to State Police, 51-year-old Sean Glenney allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy back in 2015. Glenney met the teen through an explorer program with the North Greece Fire Department. He’s on leave from his job in the school district but officials say the inappropriate contact didn’t happen on school grounds. Glenney is due back in court at a later date.


BB Gun

A Buffalo Public Schools seventh-grade student is facing punishment after allegedly bringing a BB gun to school with him. Police responded to Olmstead School 156 yesterday after getting a report of a student with a gun and the weapon was later found in a bathroom. The school was put on lockdown during the incident, but it was later lifted, and classes resumed. The district said the student will be disciplined using the guidelines laid out in the Code of Conduct. Counseling will also be made available to other students.

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