OBSERVER Staff Report
SHERIDAN It was another unusually long night in the Town of Sheridan Court Thursday night, with delays apparently coming from the lawyer of William Prost, a corrections officer accused of domestic violence charges.
"I'm waiting. I don't know why I am waiting, but I'm waiting for something," Justice Lydia Romer said.
Protesters against domestic violence carried signs outside the court house as the lawyer for the corrections officer accused of assault and obstruction of breathing represented his absent client.
By 8:15 p.m., everyone required to appear in court during the evening had been processed and left, with the exception of one other client of John Schober, Prost's attorney. Passing vehicles could occasionally be heard honking at those assembled outside the courtroom in protest against domestic violence.
However, some came to witness the proceedings with Prost, despite the delays.
Marcia Brown said she was attending the courtroom to see justice served, and also questioned the delay in the court proceedings.
"If you have a court date, you're supposed to show up, right?" she asked. "He has abused my sister. He's getting away with this ... He has several complainants, but nobody has done anything so far ... Everybody is afraid."
When Schober eventually appeared before the judge, he told the her he had an affidavit signed by his client to appear on his behalf. Prost was not going to face Justice Romer.
Schober went on to say they were in the discovery phase of the trial, meaning the pre-trial evidence-gathering portion of the proceedings.
The assistant district attorney told the judge the two charges still stand.
"I have a CD from the state police that allegedly has pictures of the victim on it. I have not had the opportunity to review it yet, and when I do, I will make copies for Mr. Schober as attorney for the defendant ... I'm asking for a plea of guilty on the assault third as well as the obstruction of breathing," Assistant District Attorney Randi Brown said.
"In the meanwhile, Mr. Schober, the order of protection is still in effect," Romer said.
Romer said she had been contacted by Scott Harley of the Chautauqua County Attorney's Office.
"Mr Harley visited me today, and apparently, they're asking to have his pistol permit suspended. I wasn't aware that he had one. ... I know (state police) took all of his guns, but Mr. Harley stopped in and said we need to pull his pistol permit," Romer said.
However, there was some question as to whether an order to show cause was in process.
"It's my understanding based on the charges in this case, there is a new provision in the law that, if he is found guilty of those, then he would lose his pistol permit, pending the outcome of the proceedings ... I believe that would be the decision of a county court judge. Obviously, we would request that happen," attorney Brown stated.
"I may have misunderstood but it was my impression that they were going to issue some paperwork so that he could have an opportunity to be heard. If it's done by an order to show cause, then I assume that's what they would do, because I don't have any information about that procedure, and it wouldn't be in this court anyway. I just thought I should tell you that because I did speak with Mr. Harley about it," Romer told Schober.
The court was adjourned with the next date scheduled for Aug. 16 to advance the proceedings. Brown explained later the court doesn't conduct business in July due to issues with heat.