David Perry, the only suspect in the disappearance of Police cadet Kelly Rothwell , of Indian Rocks Beach,FL had fraud charges in New York State reduced to misdemeanor charges on Wednesday after Perry's attorney, John Scanlon convinced the judge that some of the testimony by Perry's co-workers was based on hearsay and not evidence.
Perry was originally charged with Felony Insurance Fraud in Broome County, N.Y. after a Grand Jury met in February to hear those witnesses testify to charges that Perry, an ex Corrections Officer at the Elmira prison, faked his injuries from an alleged struggle with an inmate. Perry was then able to obtain Workman’s Comp benefits as he was out on disability and not retirement. The charges in Broome County related to those Work Comp benefits he received after his alleged injury, an injury his coworkers maintain did not happen. He is facing similar charges in Steuben County, N.Y. where the State Pension Fund is located. Perry also received his pension at a higher rate because he filed for disability, not retirement. Those charges, as well as a Felony assault charge he is facing from a fight with an inmate at the Steuben County jail, are still pending.
Apparently. the Broome County ADA Sandra Cardone failed to put ALL the witnesses on the stand that actually witnessed the altercation, excluding the Watch Commander, who heard Perry say that he" hoped the fight wasn't over yet", and another, CO who heard Perry say " See ya guys, that's my ticket outta here. I won't be back" when the call, a Red Dot" came over the radio. Only certain CO's, picked at the beginning of the shifts, are to respond to that particular call; they are the ones assigned to monitor and respond to any altercation.
David Perry was not one of those COs. And it is still unclear why he picked that time to respond; he had to travel from his position in the jail, a long way to where the fight took place.
It makes one wonder if he staged the whole incident as he seemed to know that he would never step foot in Elmira prison again. He claimed his injury was a result of that fight with the inmate, even though several COs who were in the cell and present at the time told the Grand Jury that Perry never actually had contact with the inmate.
So why didn't the ADA use the eyes-on testimony of the people who were there? Perhaps if she had, the testimony would have been more compelling and Perry would not be skating his way out of Felony charges.One would argue that she could have made for a stronger case. The judges in that part N.Y. seem especially lenient as well; last year Judge Martin Smith, knowing that Perry was a suspect in a probable homicide, allowed Perry to go to Hawaii for a month, where Perry then married Melissa Walker, taking her last name. Kelly went missing in March and by late July was married to someone he had met on Craig's List.
Meanwhile, Perry sits in the Steuben County jail. It is widely suspected that Perry, who lived in Florida with Kelly Rothwell, killed her on March 12, 2011 when she went home to break up with him. He is a suspect in her case but has yet to be charged by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department. And no one knows why...
It's been almost 17 months since Kelly Rothwell's disappearance.
Meanwhile, Kelly Rothwell is STILL MISSING....
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