July 27, 2002
Section: Regional
Edition: Schenectady Albany; Final
Page: B-03

Wrongful prosecution alleged in suit


Gazette Reporter

ALBANY - An Albany attorney whose client was acquitted of first-degree robbery after a jury trial in May said Friday he intends to sue Schoharie County officials and Cobleskill police officers for wrongful prosecution. Randall E. Kehoe, attorney for Jeffrey Loucks, said he filed a notice of claim in state Supreme Court naming Schoharie County, the district attorney's office and the Cobleskill Police Department as respondents. Schoharie County District Attorney Jim Sacket and Cobleskill Police officers Lt. Michael O'Brien and Maynard Sullivan all are named in their official capacities as well as individually in the notice. Loucks, of Cherry Valley, was one of two men arrested after the shotgun holdup of the Cobleskill McDonald's in July 2001. Loucks, 43, who had served time on a murder conviction, was facing life in prison if convicted on the first-degree robbery charge. A co-defendant, Ryan A. Williams, 22, of Cobleskill, was also arrested following the holdup. Williams accepted a plea arrangement and agreed to testify for the prosecution. In June, Williams was sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation. Kehoe contends that after DNA evidence was processed, prosecutors were aware that Williams' DNA was the only evidence extracted from a turkey hat that witnesses said the culprit wore. Williams testified in front of a grand jury that he never saw the turkey hat before. Kehoe said he urged prosecutors to drop the charges against Loucks because DNA evidence proved Williams had lied about the turkey hat, but he said they continued with the trial. "We made a motion to dismiss the case," Kehoe said. "You cannot prosecute based on known, perjured testimony," Kehoe said Friday. Sacket, Schoharie County Attorney Mike West and O'Brien could not be reached for comment late Friday.

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