ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday, July 29, 2022.


Cousins sentenced for Greece kidnapping, charges pending for cousin

Two Rochester cousins who were found guilty of a kidnapping incident last year in Greece were both sentenced Thursday.

Dimitri Cash Sr. will face 115 years to life in prison for their involvement in the abduction of Dimitri’s children in January 2021. Joenathan Cash was sentenced to 75 years total.

“We’re very pleased with Judge Argento’s sentence,” said Sara Van Strydonck, assistant district attorney. “I said it during sentencing— I think you guys could probably hear it too— based on what the defendant said during sentencing when given the opportunity to speak— their lack of remorse is clear. It’s evident.

In court, Cash Sr. was presented with agreements and orders of protection to stay away from the kids and the adoptive family, which he refused to sign, telling the judge he believed his rights were violated and that his kids were his property. The judge then called Cash Sr. a “pathetic excuse for a human being.”

The judge also told the defendants she hoped they never see the light of day again, to which Cash Sr. replied “I will,” as he was led out of the courtroom.

On January 18, 2021, an Amber Alert was issued for 3-year-old Shekeria Cash and 5-year-old Dimitri Cash after they were forcibly taken from a Greece foster home on English Road in Rochester. Two days later, both children were found unharmed in Montgomery, Alabama.

Prosecutors say Dimitri Cash Sr., Joenathan Cash, and another accomplice, Kimara Pluviose, discussed the kidnapping plot in a vehicle rented by Pluviose. They were all charged with kidnapping and robbery among several others.

Investigators say Pluviose drove the two cousins to Alabama because she and Dimitri Cash Sr. lived there sometime before the abduction.

According to police, Dimitri Cash Sr. and Joenathan Cash used duck tape during the break-in.

“The two suspects grabbed all three of them, used duct tape to forcibly tape all three of them together,” foregoing Greece Police Chief Drew Forsythe said. “Once they did that, they also put tape over the female homeowner’s mouth to prevent her from screaming. The two suspects then went upstairs and forcibly removed the two children.”

The pair is also accused of conspiracy to murder a Monroe County Family Court Judge earlier in November. An unsealed complaint alleged the two men were planning to kill Judge Stacey Romeo.

Both Dimitri Cash Sr. and Joenathan Cash were arraigned and being held without bail on separate charges for conspiring to kill Judge Romeo.

NWS: Tornado carrying 110 mph winds touches down in Wyoming County

An EF-2 tornado was confirmed to have touched down in Wyoming County on Thursday, according to preliminary findings from the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of Wyoming and Livingston County earlier in the morning. The tornado warning was in effect for around 35 minutes and then dropped down to a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

This tornado warning was in effect until 11:15 p.m. It began around 10:40 a.m. and spread from southwest of Rochester to areas including Perry, Newburg, Gainesville, Ridge, Arcade, and Nunda.

According to the National Weather Service’s preliminary storm survey, the damage path was roughly ten miles long, starting from Java to the north of Gainesville. The path’s maximum width was 500 yards.

Wyoming County Director of Fire and Emergency Management Brian Meyers confirms a barn collapsed in Java. Parts of Chaffee Road near Route 78 are closed off to public access due to a number of powerlines and tree debris that has fallen on the roadway.

A roof also blew off the top of a barn located in Gainesville around 10:50 a.m. The damage caused nearby trees to crash on Sheppard Street below.

No more than 100 houses across Arcade and Dansville lost electricity during the two warnings, according to the national weather service in Buffalo.

News 8 meteorologist Liam Healy tracked the tornado warning in live timing Thursday morning. Coverage of this warning continued on WROC Channel 8 and rochesterfirst until the warning subsided.

Rep. Zeldin’s attacker to remain in custody following federal hearing

The suspect accused of attacking Congressman Lee Zeldin — 43-year-old David Jakubonis — will remain in custody after a federal hearing on Thursday.

Jakubonis, a Fairport resident, faces an attempted assault charge for his involvement in an attack on Zeldin at the VFW in Perinton last week.

Jakubonis appeared before the judge in his hearing, where his attorney asked for his release into in-patient alcohol treatment — with the judge seeking a broader background of Jakubonis’s mental health history.

He first appeared before a state judge immediately after the attack, but during his hearing, Jakubonis was wiping tears from his eyes as his attorney recounted the traumas in his personal life.

His attorney also said that Jakubonis was an Army veteran and thought Zeldin was making fun of veterans. Prosecutors said Jakubonis could be heard repeatedly telling Zeldin “you’re done.”

The judge also questioned the device Jakubonis was holding while approaching Zeldin, which his attorney described as a keychain “for self-protection.”

The case was adjourned for 30 days for the judge to review more evidence and also requested the release of Jakubonis’s medical records for background on his mental health.

Jakubonis faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and is due back in federal court on August 24.

A big part of Zeldin’s campaign message has been a promise to get tougher on criminals. Almost immediately after the on-stage altercation with Jakubonis, he sought to link a New York bail reform law passed by Democrats to his own case.

The law requires judges to free most people accused of lesser crimes while they await trial. It limits the instances when judges can require a defendant to pay money to gain their freedom, a system that favored wealthier people.

When he was initially arrested, a Monroe County sheriff’s investigator charged Jakubonis with second-degree attempted assault, a crime not serious enough to warrant his jailing or the imposition of bail.

Afterward, Zeldin tweeted that his assailant’s release was “due to New York’s insane cashless bail law.”

Democrats pointed out that if prosecutors had wanted to give a judge discretion to jail Jakubonis, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley — a Republican who is listed as being a co-chair of Zeldin’s campaign — could have simply picked a more serious charge.

Even prior to the bail reform law, a charge of second-degree attempted assault might have been unlikely to lead to a judge setting a high bail that might have kept Jakubonis for more than a night.

Payson did not say when she would rule on the government’s request for detention. A status hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24.

Rochester police searching for 14-year-old who went missing 2 weeks ago

Authorities are actively searching for a 14-year-old who has been missing for nearly two weeks from the Hillside Children’s Center in Rochester.

According to police, Julio Sepulveda was last seen on July 17 at around 9:35 p.m. He is described by officials as a 5’1″ Hispanic male, weighing about 100 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Rochester investigators believe he was wearing black jeans and a red hoodie at the time of disappearance. The boy is known to frequent the area of Monroe Avenue and Meigs Street.

Anyone with further information is asked to call 911. An investigation is currently underway.

Weather forecast: Sunshine takes over as humidity falls this afternoon

Our Friday sparkles with highs in the lower 80s and a good amount of sunshine. That vitamin D lingers into the weekend with both Saturday and Sunday featuring ample sunshine.