Press-Republican

May 26, 2013

Malone man indicted on 22 burglaries pleads guilty to 3

By FELICIA KRIEG
Press-Republican

---- — MALONE — A Malone man who had been indicted on 22 counts of burglary has pleaded guilty to three of those thefts.

Christoper W. Tuper, 33, entered his plea recently to three counts of felony second-degree burglary, in Franklin County Court before Judge Robert Main Jr.

But Tuper will pay restitution for all 22 burglaries listed on the indictment, if the judge follows the plea agreement, according to a news release from the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office.

PLEA BEFORE HEARING

The court had scheduled a probable-cause hearing that would use evidence gathered after a search warrant was carried out at Tuper’s former residence shortly after his arrest on April 26, 2012, the DA’s Office said.

Tuper entered the plea before the prosecution called its first witness, the DA’s Office said.

He was indicted in September, after accomplices and a co-defendant gave full statements to New York State Police detailing Tuper’s involvement in each alleged crime, the DA’s Office said.

The accomplices were charged with misdemeanors only.

OVER FOUR YEARS

The 22 burglaries happened in both businesses and private residences in the towns of Bellmont, Malone, Bangor, Westville, Duane and Moira between November 2008 and April 2012, the indictment says.

In at least seven of the crimes, Tuper stole or attempted to steal money from businesses in the Town of Malone, State Police Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation Investigator Donald Martin told the Press-Republican in January.

The Franklin County District Attorney’s Office intends to ask for a 15-year sentence plus restitution.

If the judge so decides, Tuper may have to serve a period of post-release supervision, the D.A.’s Office said.

His sentencing is scheduled for July 1.

BROTHER SERVING TIME

Tuper’s brother, Michael T. Tuper, 35, is already in prison on separate burglaries charges. He has been serving time in Elmira Correctional Facility for 10 burglaries since October 2012, according to state prison records.

Michael was sentenced to seven concurrent eight-year terms for second-degree burglary; five years of post-release supervision and three concurrent terms of three and a half to seven years for the other burglaries; four years for a marijuana possession charge; and three and a half to seven years for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Michael Tuper is eligible for parole in December 2016, according to state prison records.

It is not his first time in prison for theft. In 1997, Michael was convicted on 20 burglary charges and was sentenced to a seven-to-20-year term in state prison for third-degree burglary. He was released on parole in 2008.

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.com