Gary M. Maull of Olean continued to deny his guilt this week in Cattaraugus County Court as Judge Ronald D. Ploetz sentenced him to a combined 34-years-to-life sentence for his conviction in a murder case.
Maull claimed he considers all life “precious” and apologized to the family of the late Otis Lamont Parks, but as he spoke for the first time in the case in court in Little Valley, he maintained his innocence, according to District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman.
Ploetz, stressing that he could find no cause in the record of the case to justify any leniency, ordered Maull, 30, to serve the sentence on his Jan. 22 conviction by a County Court jury on charges of second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, bail jumping and third-degree assault.
Maull was charged in the execution-style killing of Parks, also known as Lamont Clemons, 54, of Olean, off Route 16 in the Town of Allegany last August. The judge also ordered Maull to submit to five years of post-prison supervision if he ever should be released from state custody.
On Feb. 1 the judge ordered Thomas C. “Turtle” Hall, 54, of Olean to serve a 7½-to-15-year prison term on his guilty plea to second-degree criminal facilitation for admittedly helping Maull try to hide the victim’s body.
Maull killed Parks because he mistakenly assumed Parks had begun working with authorities against him in a drug case, according to police.
Also on Monday, former Hinsdale town justice Jennifer A. Witzigman pleaded guilty to failing to properly keep track of court funds.
Witzigman, who now goes by the name of Jennifer A. Sullivan, pleaded guilty to official misconduct and petit larceny for failing to properly keep track of court funds between January 2010 and September 2011. State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s auditors found a $5,394 cash shortage of court funds during that period. She resigned from the bench after the state audit. Sullivan is scheduled to be sentenced May 9.
In other court action:
• Christopher R. Terhune, 34, of Perry, currently an inmate at the state’s Bare Hill Correctional Facility in Franklin County, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child for his role in a gang that forced a young Salamanca girl into prostitution in October 2012. Terhune, who is slated for release from state prison March 22 in an unrelated family offense case, faces sentencing on his new plea June 20.
• Michael L. Chase, 25, of Moravia, currently an inmate at the state’s Cayuga Correctional Facility for a 2013 Olean burglary conviction, was ordered to serve another prison term of up to three years on his conviction as a repeat felon for second-degree assault for attacking a Cattaraugus County Jail corrections officer Sept. 22, 2014.
• James Korbar, 54, of Gowanda, waived grand jury action and pleaded guilty as charged to a felony count of third-degree attempted unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in his former Town of Persia home this past Feb. 4 when he was arrested in a multi-agency raid on his meth lab. He faces sentencing May 9.