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Non-jury trial expected next week for lottery-thieving brothers

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Non-jury trial expected next week for lottery-thieving brothers
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Two brothers accused of attempting to claim $5 million from the state lottery office with a stolen scratch-off ticket will waive their right to a jury trial, according to attorneys.

(See NY brothers charged in plot to steal $5M New York Lottery ticket, Lottery Post, Nov. 14, 2012.)

Andy Ashkar, 34, and Nayel Ashkar, 36, will opt on Monday to have County Court Judge Joseph Fahey decide their innocence or guilt, said defense attorney Robert Tisdell.

Tisdell, who is representing Nayel Ashkar, said he felt the judge would give his client "a fair shot."

"Fairer than with a jury in this particular case," he added.

He said media reports had prejudiced the public against his client. He also said he didn't believe prosecutors would be able to meet their burden of proof and that the trial will come down to "very clear legal questions for the judge to decide."

The judge ruled last week to dismiss attempted grand larceny charges against the pair, citing the state statute of limitations for felony prosecution. The ticket was allegedly stolen by Andy Ashkar from a customer at his father's convenience store on Oct. 27, 2006. Andy Ashkar is accused of telling the customer the ticket was worth $5,000 and paying him $4,000, keeping $1,000 for the store.

Six years later, the brothers took the ticket to the lottery office to claim the $ 5 million.

Nayel and Andy Ashkar are both charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, a Class E felony. Andy Ashkar faces an additional Class B felony charge of first degree criminal possession of stolen property. The brothers' father, Nayef Ashkar, has also been charged with conspiracy, but his trial date has been set for September.

The maximum penalty on the conspiracy charge is 1 1/3 to four years in prison. The minimum is conditional discharge or probation. The Class B felony Andy Ashkar faces calls for a minimum sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison and a maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years if convicted.

Defense attorney Robert Durr, who is representing Andy Ashkar, said he believes waiving the jury will behoove his client because the case is riddled with legal complexities, such as the actual value of the scratch-off ticket.

"I feel much better having it in the hands of someone who is trained legally, who knows the law and knows how to apply the law," he said. "Everything is going to be based upon the facts and not on emotion. Juries tend to work on emotion, and everybody on a jury in this case would have a predisposition."

Assistant District Attorney Beth Van Doren said a non-jury trial will change "very little as far as the prosecution is concerned."

"We will still present the same amount of evidence to prove each and every element of the crime," she said.

However, Van Doren added that the trial will likely proceed at a quickened pace and might end two days after it begins next week.

Thanks to kapla for the tip.

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11 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by dallascowboyfan.
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noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
Bay Area/ California
United States
Member #136482
December 12, 2012
1943 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 19, 2013, 3:04 pm - IP Logged

Two brothers accused of attempting to claim $5 million from the state lottery office with a stolen scratch-off ticket will waive their right to a jury trial, according to attorneys.

(See NY brothers charged in plot to steal $5M New York Lottery ticket, Lottery Post, Nov. 14, 2012.)

Andy Ashkar, 34, and Nayel Ashkar, 36, will opt on Monday to have County Court Judge Joseph Fahey decide their innocence or guilt, said defense attorney Robert Tisdell.

Tisdell, who is representing Nayel Ashkar, said he felt the judge would give his client "a fair shot."

"Fairer than with a jury in this particular case," he added.

He said media reports had prejudiced the public against his client. He also said he didn't believe prosecutors would be able to meet their burden of proof and that the trial will come down to "very clear legal questions for the judge to decide."

The judge ruled last week to dismiss attempted grand larceny charges against the pair, citing the state statute of limitations for felony prosecution. The ticket was allegedly stolen by Andy Ashkar from a customer at his father's convenience store on Oct. 27, 2006. Andy Ashkar is accused of telling the customer the ticket was worth $5,000 and paying him $4,000, keeping $1,000 for the store.

Six years later, the brothers took the ticket to the lottery office to claim the $ 5 million.

Nayel and Andy Ashkar are both charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, a Class E felony. Andy Ashkar faces an additional Class B felony charge of first degree criminal possession of stolen property. The brothers' father, Nayef Ashkar, has also been charged with conspiracy, but his trial date has been set for September.

The maximum penalty on the conspiracy charge is 1 1/3 to four years in prison. The minimum is conditional discharge or probation. The Class B felony Andy Ashkar faces calls for a minimum sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison and a maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years if convicted.

Defense attorney Robert Durr, who is representing Andy Ashkar, said he believes waiving the jury will behoove his client because the case is riddled with legal complexities, such as the actual value of the scratch-off ticket.

"I feel much better having it in the hands of someone who is trained legally, who knows the law and knows how to apply the law," he said. "Everything is going to be based upon the facts and not on emotion. Juries tend to work on emotion, and everybody on a jury in this case would have a predisposition."

Assistant District Attorney Beth Van Doren said a non-jury trial will change "very little as far as the prosecution is concerned."

"We will still present the same amount of evidence to prove each and every element of the crime," she said.

However, Van Doren added that the trial will likely proceed at a quickened pace and might end two days after it begins next week.

Thanks to kapla for the tip.

Send a message in a 4 letter word- JAIL.


    United States
    Member #124498
    March 14, 2012
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    Posted: April 19, 2013, 3:27 pm - IP Logged

    These guys are gonna get a slap on the wrist.

    The father of the store is obviously well connected.


      United States
      Member #116272
      September 7, 2011
      20244 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 19, 2013, 5:25 pm - IP Logged

      These guys are gonna get a slap on the wrist.

      The father of the store is obviously well connected.

      I Agree!


        United States
        Member #116272
        September 7, 2011
        20244 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 19, 2013, 5:30 pm - IP Logged

        When do we get to hear from the dope addict who sold his ticket for $4k?

          psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

          United States
          Member #4877
          May 30, 2004
          4614 Posts
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          Posted: April 19, 2013, 6:24 pm - IP Logged

          These guys are gonna get a slap on the wrist.

          The father of the store is obviously well connected.

          LB:

          Nothing wrong about getting a little slap on the wrist. They  brothers who R

          just kids that want D good life in this great america where dey R raised by a

          wonderful father who would probably describe them as "angles" if U ask him.

          They have done nothing wrong. They just used an ole Quick TRIX 2 make A

          Quick PICK>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          D Lottery Games Do It 2U>>>2ME "EVERYDAY" $$$

          Just L@@Kin @ U 2B A "WINNER" ME 2!   

           

               PartyScaredPartyScared Drum Scared PartyScaredParty

            beaudad's avatar - animaniacs26
            Kentucky
            United States
            Member #60043
            April 3, 2008
            1387 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 19, 2013, 6:52 pm - IP Logged

            Wonder where the Judge buys his "scratch-offs" ????????????? It would be a shame to have those "nice boys" tried by a jury.....a Jury of "Hard Working Americans"!!!!

            In the country where those brothers family originated......"they cut off their hands for stealing don't they"

            " I don't have a gambling problem,  I have a problem winning!"

              Avatar
              Keokuk,Iowa
              United States
              Member #116508
              September 12, 2011
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              Posted: April 19, 2013, 9:00 pm - IP Logged

              It could be that the judge is a stickler for the law,thats why he dismissed some of the charges against the brothers.He may just find these thieves guilty of the remaining charges and hand down a very severe sentence.At least thats the way I see it.

                Avatar
                NY
                United States
                Member #23835
                October 16, 2005
                2829 Posts
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                Posted: April 20, 2013, 1:38 am - IP Logged

                "He said media reports had prejudiced the public against his client."

                Accurate media reports that you're a thief can do that.

                  Avatar
                  Texas
                  United States
                  Member #132460
                  September 4, 2012
                  483 Posts
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                  Posted: April 20, 2013, 5:04 am - IP Logged

                  If the brothers really did that of course they deserve punishment. If they claim the money that is not rightfully theirs I hope the real owner can still have it.

                    sully16's avatar - sharan
                    Listens to the wind

                    United States
                    Member #81740
                    October 28, 2009
                    18780 Posts
                    Online
                    Posted: April 20, 2013, 9:16 am - IP Logged

                    File this under things that make you go...hmmmmmm

                    There's only one US Flag

                      dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                      Oklahoma
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                      Member #82391
                      November 12, 2009
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                      Posted: April 20, 2013, 1:27 pm - IP Logged

                      Lurking

                      I Love Pink & Green 1908