The Leader takes a look back at the most read crime stories of the past year that include incidents in Corning, Riverside, Addison and Hammondsport.


Drake Accident


Dustin W. Drake, the driver of a one car accident that took the lives of four passengers Oct. 12, on County Route 76, near Rugby Road, Hammondsport, was recently charged with multiple murders and aggravated vehicular homicide charges in the fatal crash.


Drake, 30, of Prattsburgh, was indicted in mid-December by the Steuben County Grand Jury on the charges of driving while intoxicated, aggravated vehicular homicide, and second-degree murder, according to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker.


The crash occurred when Drake allegedly drove the vehicle off the side of County Route 76, at about 1:15 a.m. Oct. 12, into a tree, killing passengers Korbie L. Higgins, 28, of Bath, Coy F. Miner, 26, of Hammondsport, Nicole L. Wise, 25, of Prattsburgh and Adam P. Bellamy, 29, of Pulteney and Ohio.


Drake, who was originally charged with felony driving while intoxicated, due to a previous conviction of DWI within the past 10 years, and two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, only suffered minor injuries.


“The next step is Drake will be arraigned in Steuben County Court,” Baker said. “The case has been assigned to Steuben County Court Judge Chauncey Watches, who will set an arraignment date sometime in January of next year. When the trial case will begin at this point is hard to determine.”


Drake is currently released on his own recognizance as he posts no flight risk, officials said. He is being defended in the case by Ithaca area attorney Ray Schlather.


Townsend Ave. Fatal Fire


Two men are currently behind bars after a mid-May blaze damaged a Townsend Avenue residence - taking the life of a female who lived at the home.


Justin L. Gause, 21, and Jarrett W. Gause, 33, are two brothers accused of killing their grandmother by causing a fire at a Townsend Avenue home.


Justin Gause appeared in October in front of Steuben County Court Judge Patrick F. McAllister, according to the Steuben County District Attorney’s office. He is being defended in the case by Steuben County Public Defender Christopher M. Tunney.


Jarrett W. Gause, reappeared in October and completed his arraignment in front of McAllister, officials said. He is being defended by Brenda Smith Aston, the chief Conflict Defender for Steuben County.


Each of the accused are charged with second-degree murder, five counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree falsifying business records and second-degree assault, according to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker. The next scheduled Steuben County Court meeting has not yet been scheduled.


The fire at the Townsend Avenue home, allegedly started by the manufacturing of methamphetamine, led to the death of 82-year-old Gladys Ann Willow, the grandmother of the two accused, according to New York State Police Inv. Chris Wilkinson.


Fire departments and police responded to a structure fire at 20 Townsend Street at about 8:30 a.m. May 14, and firefighters fought the blaze for nearly 30 minutes, officials said. As a result of an investigation, one resident, Willow, was determined to be deceased shortly after being rushed to the Guthrie Corning Hospital.


Carlineo pleaded guilty


An Addison man pleaded guilty in November to federal charges of threatening to assault and murder a United States official and being a felon in possession of firearms.


Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., 55, entered a guilty plea in Rochester federal court after two previously scheduled hearings in September and early November were postponed.


Carlineo made national news when he made a call in March threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and was subsequently arrested.


Federal prosecutors said the charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.


According to the original criminal complaint in the case, on March 21 at about 12:20 p.m., a call was received by one of Rep. Omar’s staff in which an an individual, eventually identifying themselves as Carlineo, asked, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.”


“Because he hates individuals he views as radical Muslims being in the United States government, he believed that Congresswoman Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and that Congresswoman Omar’s election to the United States Congress was illegitimate,” federal prosecutors said in a press release announcing Carlineo’s guilty plea.


The complaint stated that Carlineo sounded angry, and yet “spelled his name and provided contact information” on the call.


Carlineo was interviewed March 29 by FBI agents, according to court filings.


In that interview, he reportedly told the agents that “if our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head,” referring to Rep. Omar.


He also acknowledged during the interview that he was in possession of firearms and ammunition.


Federal officials say that included a loaded .45-caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.


Carlineo has a previous felony conviction in Steuben County Court dating to 1998 for second-degree criminal mischief, which prevents him from legally possessing firearms.


“This prosecution highlights the fact that the rights secured in our Constitution carry with them certain responsibilities,” U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said in a written statement. “The First Amendment right to freedom of speech carries with it the responsibility that individuals not make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them. The Second Amendment right to bear arms carries with it the responsibility that individuals who desire to possess firearms not commit felony crimes.”


Sentencing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 14, 2020 before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr.


Carlineo remains under GPS-monitored curfew until sentencing.


Buffalo Street incident


A 51-year-old woman was arrested in August 13, for allegedly threatening a female with a loaded handgun at a Buffalo Street home.


Laura E. Simons, of 212 Buffalo St., Corning, was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree menacing.


911 dispatched patrolmen to the Buffalo Street home after receiving a call from a nearby residence, according to Corning City Police Chief Jeff Spaulding. Upon arrival at the residence, police were confronted outside by a female suspect that initially ran back into the house.


Spaulding said a short time later, the female suspect excited the home once again and was quickly taken into custody.


While responding to the call, city police requested the assistance of the Painted Post State Police and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Spaulding said. All three agencies responded to the Buffalo address.


Investigation revealed that Simons allegedly got into an argument with an adult female inside a Buffalo Street residence, police said. During this argument, Simons allegedly loaded a .45 caliber handgun and pointed it at the victim.


Spaulding said it is alleged that Simons continually pointed the gun at the female victim and repeatedly pulled the trigger.


“While she was attacking the victim, pointing the gun at the victim (Simons) was yelling and screaming that she was going to kill (the victim) and then put the gun on herself,” Spaulding said. “She was pointing the gun at the victim, she tried to pull the trigger, but the gun didn’t go off. She then pointed the gun at herself and pulled the trigger and the gun didn’t go off and luckily the victim was able to escape.”


The investigation revealed that while Simons was manipulating the weapon and trying to get it to fire, the female victim was able to escape and run from the house to a nearby home where she was able to call 911.


Patrolmen believe that they have recovered the weapon used along with a quantity of ammunition, Spaulding said. No injuries were sustained by any of the participants.


Simons was taken to the Steuben County Centralized Arraignment Court in front of Hornell City Judge Jennifer Donlon. Simon was released on her own recognizance without bail. She reappeared in Corning City Court and the case was transferred to Steuben County Court.