ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Thursday, May 5, 2022.


Keith Williams found guilty on all counts in attempted murder trial of Rochester police officer

A Monroe County jury convicted Keith Williams on all four counts Wednesday in relation to the attack on a Rochester police officer in 2019.

Williams was found guilty of attempted aggravated murder of a police officer, attempted murder in the second degree, aggravated assault upon a police officer, and assault in the first degree. He will be held without bail until sentencing on June 8. After the verdict was announced, Williams was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

“The last thing that the jury asked for was a play-back of the body-worn camera and they were looking for that small portion where the defendant said ‘I am going to kill you,’” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. “For that to be played over and over again was the final moment when they all reached their verdict.”

Prosecutors said Williams stabbed Rochester police officer Denny Wright in the face and lower body two and a half years ago. As a result, Wright lost his eyesight in the incident.

“Having this off my back — will relieve a lot of stress,” Wright said. “I will continue to strive to find purpose and be involved as much as I can with the department, the academy, and the community. The community deserves thanks just as much as anyone else.”

Williams was deemed competent to stand trial in 2020 in connection to the charges he’s faced in connection to the October 4, 2019 incident on Peck Street.

On Tuesday, Williams testified in his own defense.

Williams said he was hearing voices in his head on the day officer Wright responded to his house. Williams said the voices in his head were telling him to get killed.

Williams added that he was previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder and doesn’t remember his encounter with officer Wright. He said he smoked marijuana earlier that day before the altercation.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley then called a rebuttal witness; a Monroe County Jail deputy who testified that he heard Williams say he was going to pretend he was crazy and that he “stabbed a bitch ass police officer.”

The judge and Doorley told the jury “intent” is a big factor in this whole case and what matters here are the actions of Williams at the moment.

“Intent doesn’t mean premeditation. It means did you intend the consequences of your actions at the time you were committing the offense. So, when we was stabbing Officer Wright, did he intend to kill him? Did he intend to hurt him? That’s where the intent comes into play,” Doorley said.

If convicted, Williams faces 40-years-to-life in prison.

Driver charged with DWI after striking barn on Washington St. in Pittsford

 A Sullivan County man was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated after striking a barn, and a parked vehicle on Washington Street just before midnight Wednesday.

Authorities say 31-year-old Matthew Goldsmith of Kauneonga Lake was traveling eastbound on Washington Road, before driving through an intersection and into a driveway.

The pickup truck driven by the man struck an unoccupied vehicle that was parked in the driveway, along with a barn on the property, according to officials.

Police say Goldsmith was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was not injured.

He was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, among other traffic violations.

Florida man arrested after baby doused in flammable liquid in Seneca County, 4-year-old injured

A Florida man is facing multiple charges after a baby was found covered in a flammable liquid, officials from the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.

Jamie Avery, 28-years-old from West Palm Beach, Florida, is charged with attempted aggravated murder, attempted murder, attempted arson, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Authorities said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference that two people were detained after a 1-year-old was found covered in the flammable liquid near a gas station in Tyre, New York on Tuesday. Officials say the child was taken to the hospital for treatment.

“The child was immediately turned over to Northside ambulance and transported to Geneva General Hospital,” said Seneca County Sheriff Timothy Luce.

Police say around the same time, a 4-year-old was found with head injuries in a tractor-trailer. Police took the child to the hospital for treatment.

According to officials from the sheriff’s department, both children are expected to survive and make full recoveries.

Avery was arraigned in Seneca County Court and held on $100,000 cash bail. No word yet on other charges for the other person who was detained.

Rochester Amerks take game 1 with stunning comeback

The Amerks had not won a playoff game in just over eight years–not since May 2nd, 2014.

That streak did not appear ready to end on Wednesday night. And then, all of a sudden, it was over.

Rochester rallied from a 3-0 third period deficit and forced overtime with just under four minutes to play. Arttu Ruotsalainen closed the comeback with an overtime tip-in to give the Amerks game one of their best-of-three first round series against Belleville.

The Sens scored twice in the first period and made it 3-0 midway through the second on a pretty tic-tac-toe play that Rourke Chartier stuffed in.

Rochester finally woke up quickly in the third. J.J. Peterka fed Lukas Rousek all alone in front to score the first Amerks goal of the postseason just over three minutes into the final period.

Peyton Krebs was the catalyst for the last two goals. His pass from the goal line to Jimmy Schuldt in the slot with just under seven minutes left got Rochester within 3-2.

The tying goal started with Krebs at the point, but ended up on Casey Fitzgerald’s stick in just about the same spot. The play also finished in the same spot–the back of the net.

It might sound cliche, but Amerks head coach Seth Appert says “love” is what keyed the comeback. The same love that kept Rochester together as they grinded into the final North Division playoff spot.

His players agreed.

“Down three-nothing, such a comeback in the third is just unbelievable from everybody,” Peterka said. “I just think that showed the character we showed the whole year. Just coming together here. That fight for each other. That’s why we won tonight.”

“We all, I think, played well. In the first period, we just couldn’t score. The same thing in the second period. We just trust how we play hockey and that paid off,” Ruotsalainen said.

Krebs called the crowd “awesome”, especially for a Wednesday night. He could tell they were ready for the franchise’s first playoff win since 2014. They were ready, too and there was confidence even before the rally started.

“We knew it was coming in the second there. We had some great opportunities to score. I think we just couldn’t buy one,” Krebs said. “To get that first one out of the way… the floodgates opened after that.”

It’s a monster win in a best of three series and a must-have victory for Rochester. Each of the final two games of the series are on the road at Belleville. The Amerks can now win Friday or Sunday to earn their first playoff series win since 2005.

2 injured following assault, robbery near Parkway in Rochester

Two people were hospitalized after being struck by a blunt object, believed to be a gun, during a robbery in the area of Parkway late Wednesday night.

According to police, officers responded to the 100 block of Parkway for the report of an assault. Once at the location, they observed two victims who had been struck by a blunt object.

Officials say the object used in the attack is believed to be a firearm, although none of the victims were shot during the robbery.

Both victims, a 30-year-old male and a 31-year-old female, are receiving treatment to non life-threatening injuries at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Weather: Sunshine takes over with a cold start to Cinco De Mayo

Thursday looks like the best of the bunch, excluding Sunday. Temperatures start off cold in the 40s during the morning hours but quickly peak at 60+ degrees with sun and little to no cloud coverage.