The case against a Florida man with an extensive criminal history who allegedly stole a car from the Corning Wegmans parking lot in June was dismissed because paperwork was filed late.
BATH | The case against a Florida man with an extensive criminal history who allegedly stole a car from the Corning Wegmans parking lot in June was dismissed because paperwork was filed late.
Steuben County Judge Marianne Furfure dismissed the indictment Thursday afternoon against 38-year-old Andrew J. Smith, who has been in Steuben County Jail without bail since the incident.
“Smith was in court (Thursday) on a motion to dismiss based on a untimely prosecution,” said David Wallace, Steuben County first assistant district attorney. “And the court dismissed the indictment. (The judge) ruled we did not file a statement of readiness in a timely fashion. It was 24-hours late, and he was free to go on those charges.”
Smith was charged in June with fourth-degree grand larceny, a class E felony, unlawful fleeing and second-degree reckless endangerment, both class A misdemeanors, and several other charges.
Police have said Smith was jailed without bail because of multiple felony convictions, the majority in the state of Florida.
“I’m not happy about this,” Wallace said. “But I have to make is clear it was my case. It happened and it was my responsibility.”
City police said the car, a 2005 Mercury Montego, was stolen at about 8:54 p.m. June 20 from the Wegmans parking lot after the owner left it running while speaking with friends nearby in the parking lot.
Police used the owner’s cell phone - which was left in the car - to track the vehicle to a location in the Town of Campbell. There, a state trooper located it and began a pursuit on Route 415 westbound.
The driver turned the car around and headed east on Route 415 - in the direction of Corning police officers who were responding to the scene.
Police said two of the car’s tires were punctured by deflation devices police set up near the intersection of Route 415 and Meads Creek Road, but the driver continued to High Street and through the Village of Painted Post.
Police continued their pursuit of the driver, who drove behind StoreFlex on Pulteney Street in Riverside and fled the vehicle.
Corning police, troopers, Steuben County sheriff’s deputies and a police dog searched the area on foot, police said. The suspect was later located behind a Dumpster in the area.