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April 19, 2014

Appeals Court upholds conviction of murderer

Dashnaw continues life sentence for killing couple in 2005

PLATTSBURGH — An appeals court upheld the conviction of Edward A. Dashnaw for the double murders of David and Lorraine Donivan.

The deaths of the popular Schuyler Falls business owners in December 2005 had shocked the North Country.

Dashnaw, 45, appealed his conviction to the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division after his 2011 retrial.

He was found guilty then of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, all felonies, and three counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.

FIRST CONVICTION OVERTURNED

The Plattsburgh man had first gone to the trial for the double slaying in 2007 and was found guilty.

But he was granted the second trial after an appeals court in 2011 reversed that conviction.

The court found certain incriminating statements that Dashnaw made to police should not have been used as evidence in his original trial because they were made early on in the investigation without an attorney present.

Dashnaw’s first trial was the longest in Clinton County history, lasting almost three months.

He has consistently stated that he is innocent of the crimes.

’OVERWHELMING PROOF’

In the midst of his retrial, Dashnaw decided to serve as his own attorney.

In his most recent appeal, Dashnaw, represented by attorney Mitch Kessler, claimed that he was wrongly convicted in the second trial based on lack of evidence, an unfair trial and ineffective assistance of counsel.

During oral arguments before the Appellate Division, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie argued that the jury had returned a guilty verdict after a fair trial that conformed to all constitutionally guaranteed rights.

After the review of motions and oral arguments, the Appellate Division affirmed the conviction in its entirety, according to a news release from the DA’s Office.

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