All four accused also charged with first-degree gang assault
By JOHN ANDERSON, pictured L-R are defendents Lewis, Plante, Scharborough, and Blye
The four men from Elmira who were charged with gang assault for allegedly beating an Alfred State student had their charges upgraded today to second-degree attempted murder first first-degree gang assault.
Allegany County District Attorney Prosecutor Ian Jones said Moses N. Scharborough, 19, William J. Blye, 20, Jayson E. Lewis, 20, and Eric R. Plante, 19 have been charged with second-degree attempted murder and gang assault.
STORY CONTINUES AFTER VIDEO: Dr. Mauro’s strong words about the incident and compassion for the victim
During the early hours of Oct. 15, the four men from Elmira who are not students at Alfred State College or Alfred University, injured the student to the point he was airlifted and placed in a medically-induced coma. A Go Fund Me Page was set up for the victim and Alfred State College President Dr. Steven Mauro denounced the violence in a press release and an impactful video. As of this publishing, that fundraiser has received almost all of the $50,000 goal.
The Alfred State University Police Department was on the scene within minutes as the four were leaving the scene thanks to a witness who is being called a hero for their actions. The quick response by the UPD led to all four being detained in seconds. They were initially charged with felony first-degree gang assault and held in the Allegany County Jail for a hearing in Alfred Village Court. Because three of the four had prior arrests and criminal records, they were jailed on $25,000 bail, prosecutors said, and the fourth was held on $10,000 bail.
Jones said “I think this was four individuals who went out looking for trouble.”
Allegany County Sheriff Scott Cicirello, who was once chief of police in Alfred, said the police agencies are working together to make the village and the two campuses a safer place. Cicirello had deputies assisting in Alfred last week and the weekend. Cicirello said between the UPD, Alfred Police Department under Chief Paul Griffith and University Police, Alfred has become a safer place with fewer incidents.
“Hot Dog Day was very successful this year in terms of no real serious or critical incidents and I think UPD Chief (Jeff) Wilcox and Chief Griffin are doing a great job,” said Cicirello.
In a statement, President Mauro condemned the attack and is holding the suspects accountable.
“Our student did not deserve to be assaulted, and no form of violence is ever an acceptable response to anything for any reason,” Mauro said. “The perpetrators of this assault, like anyone who commits violence, will be held accountable in the criminal justice system,” he said.
Mauro went on to say that the student who was attacked was hospitalized and is receiving medical care and support from their family
From the Allegany County District Attorney:
Defendant’s Name: Eric R. Plante
Jayson E. Lewis
Moses N. Scharborough
William J. Blye III
Address: Alfred, New York
Charges: Attempted Murder 2nd (B violent felony);
Gang Assault 1st (B violent felony)
Court Appearance Date: October 25, 2023
Proceedings: The four defendants named above have been indicted by a grand jury. Each defendant was indicted for two charges: (1) Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, and (2) Gang Assault in the First Degree. This indictment stems from an incident that occurred in the Village of Alfred on October 15, 2023, in which a 19 year old victim was left seriously injured.
Prosecuting Attorney: Ian M. Jones, Assistant District Attorney
Defendant’s Attorney: James Cole, Esq. (for defendant, Jayson E. Lewis)
James Egan, Esq. (for defendant, William J. Blye III)
Paul Dicola, Esq. (for defendant Moses N. Scharborough)
Steven Sessler, Esq. (for defendant Eric R. Plante)
PLEASE NOTE: ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT AND THE INFORMATION CONCERNING ARREST AND CHARGES ARE ONLY ACCUSATIONS UNTIL CONVICTION.