An attorney representing a defendant in a Geneva attempted murder case is accused of trying to influence a witness's testimony.
CANANDAIGUA — An attorney representing a client facing attempted murder charges was arrested Monday at the Ontario County Courthouse, charged with misdemeanor witness tampering.
On Monday in Ontario County Court, Andrew Tabashneck arrived to court to represent his then client Erin Rhynes, who is charged along with co-defendant Merritt Timetheus with attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Geneva.
Instead of spending time with his client prior to his evidentiary hearing regarding his charges, Tabashbeck was handcuffed and charged.
“Your attorney has been charged and indicted on another criminal matter and can no longer represent you,” Ontario County Judge Craig Doran told Rhynes in court. “He was charged with tampering with a witness.”
Ontario County First Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride is prosecuting the attempted murder trial, Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts handled Tabashneck’s arraignment.
“The allegations are that he (Tabashneck) contacted a witness in the attempted murder case and tried to influence them into providing false information during testimony.” said MacBride.
During the arraignment, Tabashneck was represented by an Ontario County public defender, who entered a not guilty plea on her client’s behalf.
Tabashnek was released on his own recognizance and will return to court at a later date to face his misdemeanor charge. If found guilty, Tabashneck may serve up to one year in jail and three years' probation.
Rhynes must now find new counsel by Dec. 7.