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Carr takes plea deal for Mennonite burglaries

John Christensen
The Chronicle-Express

Penn Yan

A man accused of a string of burglaries in Yates County in January 2019 has accepted a guilty plea in exchange for reduced charges and a shorter prison sentence.

MICHAEL J. CARR, 35, of Quaker Road, Macedon, and a codefendant CHRISTOPHER R. HEARN, 35, of Avis St., Rochester, were charged in 13-count sealed indictment filed Oct. 8, 2019. Both were charged with three counts of 2nd degree burglary (class C violent felony), four counts of 3rd degree burglary (class D felony), three counts of 4th degree grand larceny (class E felony), two counts of petit larceny, and one count of possession of burglars’ tools (class A misdemeanors).

Carr
Hearn

Carr and Hearn were accused of breaking into two homes on Briggs Road, one on Middle Road, and one on Rte. 364, all on Sunday, Jan. 13 while the Mennonite families who are the victims were attending church services. Casella says the pair stole cash and property valued around $5,000, including four long guns. 

Following the indictment in October, Carr was arrested in Tompkins County and turned over to Yates County Deputies. He was arraigned in Yates County Court before Judge Jason L. Cook, and was remanded to jail in lieu of $40,000 cash bail or $80,000 bond.

Appearing from the Yates County Jail via Skype and represented by assigned attorney Joseph Midiri, Carr pled guilty to one count of 2nd degree burglary for a promised sentence of 8 1/2 years in prison followed by 3 years parole; and to one count of 3rd degree burglary in exchange for 2–6 years in prison to run concurrently. He must also pay $5,625.01 in restitution to the victims, plus state surcharges and DNA registry fee. He will be sentenced Oct. 27.

Prior to his plea, Carr admitted he is addicted to heroin, as was his late codefendant. Hearn was released from jail in Dec. 2019 under N.Y. State’s Bail Reform Act, and was awaiting trial when he died of a suspected heroin overdose Feb. 13 in Dundee. Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella laid the blame for Hearn’s death at the feet of the legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“This is an absolutely foreseeable consequence of the State’s bail reform law,” said Casella at the time. “He was safe in jail, clean from early October, but because he was released, now he’s dead. He was in court just days before his death, but now there is no justice for his victims or him, and his family is planning a funeral.”