Prosecutors: 2 men accused of kidnapping now accused of planning to kill Family Court Judge
GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — The two men charged with kidnapping two Greece children from their foster home earlier this year Tuesday pleaded not guilty to two new charges: Conspiracy and conspiracy to commit the crime of murder.
Joenathan Cash and Dimitri Cash are accused of kidnapping Dimitri’s children. The Jan. 18 incident resulted in an Amber Alert. Now, prosecutors say they were planning to kill Monroe Family Court Judge Stacey Romeo.
Assistant District Attorney Sara Van StryDonck said Judge Romeo previously presided over family court cases involving the children.
A grand jury indictment was unsealed against the two on Tuesday. Joenathan’s attorney waived a full reading of the indictment.
The indictment outlines a series of events leading up to the kidnapping.
“It involves a several month-long period of time whereby the two co-defendants are accused of engaging in various acts including surveillance and purchasing items in an effort to kill Judge Romeo because she was a judge," Van StryDonck said.
The document says that between about Sept. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, Dimitri conducted background searches and a background investigation on Judge Romeo, and that on around Nov. 10, 2020, Joenathan started watching the judge’s house, with Dimitri watching the judge’s vehicles at the Hall of Justice parking lot.
The indictment says Dimitri used a rideshare service to get to Judge Romeo’s home on Nov. 26, 2020 and walked through her neighborhood to get more information about her house. It claims both men continued this surveillance through December of 2020.
It says on Dec. 28, 2020, Dimitri did Google and Amazon searches in an attempt to buy FedEx or Postal Service uniforms and that on Dec. 29, 2020, Joenathan sought kerosene at Home Depot and brought it to Dimitri.
Read the full indictment below (mobile users, click here):
Defense attorney Clark Zimmermann doesn’t believe the indictment provides sufficient evidence that Joenathan and Dimitri were going to kill Judge Romeo.
“Well if you look at the face of the indictment I don’t think it makes up allegations to rise to the level of murder," Zimmermann said. "I don’t think it makes out allegations of much of anything. I understand there’s some concern for the safety of any judge, frankly, so that’s fine, but we will challenge these allegations just like any other.”
Both are being held on no bail, no release, though they have the opportunity to make future bail applications. They are both being held on $150,000 cash, $450,000 bond and $1,000,000 partially secured bond on the previous kidnapping indictment against them.
They are both scheduled to be back in court for an argument of motions on Jan. 6, 2022.
Dimitri wants to represent himself. A hearing for that is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 19.
The court signed a temporary no contact order of protection for Judge Romeo, against Joenathan.
Kimara J. Pluviose is also charged in the crime. She was not in court on Tuesday.
When Joenathan and Dimitri were in court last month, prosecutors said that Joenathan smuggled a letter in a bag of chips at the jail to a co-defendant offering that one of the three should “take the fall" and that person would “be taken care of".
Joenathan is Dimitri’s cousin.
A New York State Unified Court spokesperson declined to provide a comment to News10NBC about the allegations, saying "as this is a pending criminal case, it would be inappropriate to comment further."