Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on October 5, 2022
A Batavia man already in prison for child sex abuse will have more time to consider a plea offer on the latest charge he’s facing following a court appearance in Genesee County on Monday. 41-year-old Wesley Thigpen is being given time to consider an offer of a guilty plea to predatory sexual assault against a child, a Class A-II felony, with a sentence of 10 years to life. Last month, the judge rejected his prior plea offer, which would have capped Thigpen’s sentence at 13 years. Members of local law enforcement and the victim’s family objected to that prior plea deal, saying it wasn’t enough time. Thigpen is already in prison on a guilty plea from 2019; that plea to child sex abuse capped his prison term to four years. Thigpen also asked for a new attorney, a motion that the judge denied. He is scheduled back in court again on October 24th.
Federal prosecutors have an interest in a North Carolina man who was arrested last March in Le Roy after allegedly being found in possession of an AR-15 rifle. 24-year-old Michael Alan Jones of Raleigh, has been charged in U.S. District Court in Western New York with possession of a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon, and has reportedly reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors. The FBI’s interest in Jones may have more to do with his alleged participation in the January 6 attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C. According to the police report, Jones previously served in the United States Army.
A Genesee County grand jury has indicted 36-year-old Jeffrey Hall of Batavia. He is accused of sexual assault of a delivery driver, by forcing the 63-year-old driver to touch his intimate parts on May 24. The alleged abuse happened just before midnight at a residence on Ross Street.
Also indicted, 31-year-old Ledeja Wright of Batavia. She is charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and third degree criminal tampering. Wright is accused of entering a house on Holland Avenue June 15 and damaging a television and stereo.
The Genesee County Economic Development Center is being asked to approve renovations at Quality Inn and the Palm Island Indoor Waterpark. This would mean renovations for use as a four-season tourism and hospitality facility that includes a water park, hotel rooms, lobby, event spaces, and restaurant. The re-development proposes to create 38 new full-time jobs. The corporation is requesting tax exemptions estimated at $458,400, a property tax abatement of approximately $659,521, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $80,000. If accepted, a public hearing would be scheduled in the Town of Batavia. The meeting will be in the MedTech Center’s Innovation Zone, 99 MedTech Drive, across the street from Genesee Community College.
60-year-old Todd Kendall of Batavia is indicted and charged with failure to verify as a sex offender by not providing a current photograph of himself. Kendall is a Level 2 violent sexual offender on the state registry. He was convicted in 2006 of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old child and was sentenced to a mere six months in jail and 10 years probation.
New information has been released about the suspect who allegedly killed a member of the Rochester Police Department. Officials say that Kelvin Vickers came to the city earlier this year to murder rival marijuana dealers. Vickers and two other people are accused of being involved in the deaths of two men on North Clinton Avenue July 20th. The next day, he shot Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and his partner, Officer Sino Seng, while they were on Bauman Street. Mazurkiewicz passed away due to his injuries but Seng survived.
Testimony is scheduled to resume today in the trial of former Northwood Elementary School principal Kirk Ashton. Investigators claim he sexually abused more than 20 students while he worked at the school, which is located in Hilton. Yesterday, both the prosecution and defense laid out their opening statements and the jury also heard from witnesses. Due to the nature of this case, the judge has issued a gag order to prevent anyone from talking about it outside of the courtroom.
A 16-year-old girl arrested in connection with a stabbing at the Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management has been indicted on an assault charge. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says that the suspect attacked a 17-year-old girl at the school on West Huron Street last month. The victim spent two days in the hospital due to her injuries and is continuing to recover. The 16-year-old, who isn’t being identified due to her age, is scheduled to be back in court next month. She’s in the Erie County Youth Services Center without bail.
Some of the best dancers in the country will be making an appearance in Buffalo next year. The cast of “Dancing With The Stars: Live” will take the stage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, January 24th. Performers who are expected to be at the show include Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater and Britt Stewart plus some special guests. Tickets go on sale this Friday and can be purchased by visiting dwtstour.com.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and free mammograms are being offered through the New York State Cancer Services Program. The tests are available to individuals who meet age and income eligibility requirements, state residents and people who don’t have health insurance. If cancer is detected, those who are eligible might be able to enroll in the Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program so they can receive Medicaid coverage during treatment. More information about this program is available by calling 1-866-442-2262.
The New York Lottery today announced one second prize ticket was sold for yesterday’s CASH4LIFE drawing. The ticket is worth a guaranteed $1,000 A Week for Life. The lucky ticket was purchased at Tucci’s on Lyell Avenue in Rochester. The winning numbers are 9-15-32-40-42 and Cash Ball is 1.