Press-Republican

Local News

May 14, 2014

Prison term for reckless behavior

SARANAC LAKE — A man accused of shooting his wife in the hand as a child slept nearby pleaded guilty to recklessness in Franklin County Court.

Oleg Tchernytchenko, 36, of McClelland Street entered the guilty plea on Monday, before Acting County Court Judge Patrick McGill, to first-degree reckless endangerment, said Assistant District Attorney David Hayes.

He is expected to be sentenced June 23 to 2 1/3 to seven years in state prison.

An interpreter appeared in person to ensure Tchernytchenko understood the plea arrangements, Hayes said. The interpreter had been available only through video conferencing before now, he said.

‘GRAVE RISK TO CHILD’

Tchernytchenko was indicted by a grand jury for first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child in the Feb. 27, 2013, incident that took place in the couple’s apartment.

Prosecutors said he called 911 at 1:50 a.m. that morning to report that his wife, Irene, had a head injury.

But when rescue personnel arrived and she met them at the door, they saw she had been shot in the hand.

She had struggled with her husband for control of the gun, which Hayes said was a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun.

Investigators learned one of the couple’s two children — who were 4 years old and 5 months old at the time — was asleep next to the mother on a pull-out bed when the shooting took place.

“The guilty plea was admitting to that: He caused a grave risk of death to the child by his reckless behavior when the gun discharged,” Hayes said.

‘FAIR RESOLUTION’

Mrs. Tchernytchenko was first treated at Adirondack Medical Center then transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

The ADA said her injuries “were not discussed” as part of the plea agreement brokered between himself and defense attorney Peter Dumas.

The children were removed from the home into the care of Franklin County Department of Social Services Child Protective Services at the time of the incident.

Hayes said Mrs. Tchernytchenko is not divorced from her husband but “is trying to make a life for herself and her kids.

“I believe the plea satisfies all of the parties, including the victim, and is a fair resolution,” he said.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com

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