October Trial Date Set In Sex Abuse Case

MAYVILLE – An October trial date for a Randolph man facing numerous sex abuse charges has been scheduled in Chautauqua County Court.

John O. Hitchcock pleaded innocent in March in front of Court Judge John T. Ward to seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Jury selection is set to begin Oct. 8 in Mayville.

Child advocacy groups and authorities in Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties conducted a joint investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of a juvenile male from September to October. Cattaraugus County sheriff’s deputies were first alerted to the abuse, which allegedly took place between Randolph and Ashville.

Hitchcock, a former bus driver for the Randolph Central School District, was taken into custody March 8 and arraigned the following week. Hitchcock has since left the school district, according to Dave Chambers, business manager, although an exact date of resignation was not known.

The Randolph resident is being represented by North Boston attorney Brian Attea. Attea did not return a call seeking comment from The Post-Journal.

Lynn Schaffer, Chautauqua County assistant district attorney, is prosecuting.

Deputies were assisted in their investigation by the Cattaraugus County Child Advocacy Center in Olean, the Chautauqua County Child Advocacy Program in Jamestown and the Cattaraugus and Chautauqua county district attorney offices.

Also scheduled to go to trial is Theodore S. Wickham, of Dunkirk, who is charged with second-degree manslaughter. Fredonia police in September were called to Porter Avenue for an unresponsive subject, who was later pronounced dead. The victim, Frank T. Slate Jr., 73, was found to have been shot with a shotgun.

Police learned Wickham and a co-defendant, Christopher M. Grant, of Dunkirk, were visiting Slate Sept. 14-15 when an argument began. Wickham then shot Slate one time, police said. The trial begins Aug. 6.

Jermaine L. Fann, of Dunkirk, charged with first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, will go to trial beginning July 9. Fann was taken into custody in August after an investigation by Dunkirk police into a slashing incident.

According to a police report, officers responded Aug. 19 at 2 a.m. for a report of a fight on Central Avenue. A 27-year-old Dunkirk resident was found with a cut across his face by an unidentified bladed instrument, as well as numerous lacerations. The man required 98 stitches, police said. Fann’s trial is set for July 9.

Facing a July 23 trial is Anthony F. Price, of Westfield, charged with driving while intoxicated, DWI per se, driving while ability impaired, aggravated DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Westfield police observed Price on July 31 around midnight traveling at a high rate of speed on East Main Street. Price, whose driver’s license was suspended, was found to be intoxicated following an investigation.

According to police, two unrestrained children under 15 years old were in the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop. As a result, Price was charged under Leandra’s Law with felony driving while intoxicated.

Heading to trial in August is Adam Kidd, of Jamestown, charged with two counts of third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. Kidd also faces two counts of second-degree robbery in another case.

Jamestown police on Oct. 4 responded to Southside Plaza for a report of a subject smashing a window out of a vehicle in the parking lot. Police said Kidd fled the scene in a vehicle before leading officers to Busti. Lakewood-Busti and state police assisted, and Kidd was caught in a field after a foot chase.

The trial for Shell S. Raymond, of Jamestown, meanwhile, will begin Sept. 10. Raymond is charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated DWI, DWI per se, aggravated unlicensed operation and endangering the welfare of a child.

Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputies in September observed a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign and fail to signal for a turn onto Chandler Street. Raymond was later found to be intoxicated, and had an 8-year-old and 11-year-old present in the vehicle at the time of the stop.

Raymond, who was found to have nine driving suspensions or revocations, was charged with violating Leandra’s Law. The trial will begin Sept. 10.

And in the high-profile case, Anthony R. Taglianetti, of Virginia, will go to trial beginning Sept. 17. Taglianetti is charged with second-degree murder after police said he confronted and shot Clymer schools Superintendent Keith Reed Jr. in September.

Reed was reported missing after he failed to show up for a school function. His body was later discovered by sheriff’s deputies outside his Clymer-Sherman Road home.

Following a brief manhunt, Taglianetti was found and eventually extradited back to Chautauqua County in December. The ex-Marine pleaded innocent to the murder charge during arraignment in front of Judge Ward.