Updated 09/20/2012 05:32 PM
Guilty plea in Daniel Bennett death
A Corning man arrested in connection with a murder in Schuyler County last April has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. Nathan Hand will still get jail time as part of a plea deal. As our Bill Mich explains, he also has to testify against the other person arrested in the case.
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SCHUYLER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Back in April, Nathan Hand accompanied his step-brother, Thomas Borden, to the house of Daniel Bennett in the Town of Dix where he says Borden shot and killed Bennett. Thursday in Schuyler County Court, Hand agreed to a deal that included pleading guilty to first degree manslaughter and 19 years in prison.
"He'll be on parole for another five years after he's done. He has to pay restitution to the victim if there is any and ultimately, he waves his right to appeal," said Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary.
The man that allegedly pulled the trigger, Thomas Borden, jumped in front of a train outside of Philadelphia, committing suicide after a police chase. The third person involved in this case is Alice Trappler. She was Borden's ex-wife and had a child with the victim. The two were due in Family Court over custody of the child the day after the murder. She is facing numerous charges, including second degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and Hand has agreed to testify against her.
"He indicated on the record today that before they went to the Daniel Bennett residence on Pearl Street, that they waited for a call from Alice Trappler," said Fazzary.
In court, Hand also made clear what his exact role was in the murder. He said he went to the house with Borden and turned on a light so Borden could commit the crime and then the two hid the gun.
"Given his limited participation but his active involvement in the prosecution against Alice Trappler makes the 19 year deal beneficial. That's a long, long time in prison," the District Attorney said.
Alice Trappler's murder trial is scheduled to begin early next year and Hand will be formally sentenced when it is over.