Kendall man charged for carbon monoxide deaths rejects plea deal

March 05, 2019 08:36 AM

KENDALL, N.Y. (WHEC) - An Orleans County man charged for the carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of a mother and son last year turned down a plea deal that would have spared him from felony homicide charges.

39-year-old David Wiley of Kendall appeared in Kendall Town Court on Monday. 

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Wiley was charged with two counts of negligent homicide and two counts of first degree reckless endangerment for the deaths last April of 38-year-old Joan Gilman and her 14-year-old son Richard, known as “RJ.”

“I just want to see this end,” exclaimed RJ’s Father Richard Gilman outside the courtroom, his voice shaking.  “It’s been almost a year. And there is no closure on that yet.”

Investigators said when the electricity was cut off in the Kendall duplex where Wiley and the victims rented apartments, Wiley ran a generator in the garage and the deadly carbon monoxide fumes flooded the bedroom above.

Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone offered to let Wiley plead guilty to 2nd degree reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.

Such a plea would have kept the case in Kendall Town Court, rather than Orleans County Court, and would have carried a sentence of no more than nine months in the county jail.

“At this point, that’s not something my client wants to do,” declared Wiley’s lawyer Paul Guerreri and, in court, Wiley declined the offer.  “At this point in the proceedings,” Guerreri continued, “my client maintains his innocence. And we look forward to proving it at trial if it comes to that.”

It could indeed come to trial, said Cardone who then announced his plans to present Wiley’s case to an Orleans County grand jury by the end of March, reopening the prospect of felony homicide charges, a trial in county court and, if Wiley’s convicted, years in state prison.

“We’ve set a deadline tonight and kind of drawn a line in the sand,” said Cardone.  “He might have had some misgivings in entering a plea this evening but we felt that, given the amount of time that has passed, he certainly should have been able to make that decision.”

Guerreri declared that talks with the District Attorney’s office had been productive and said he hoped to try again to reach a plea agreement Wiley would find acceptable to head off a trial.   

Wiley was scheduled to appear back in court on April 1, by which time he may have been indicted by the grand jury.

Gilman said he had been reconciled to the prospect of a plea bargain and, without one, now faced the prospect of the family’s year-long ordeal dragging longer still.  “It would have been, at least, closure,” he said.  “Now we’ve got to go through.... who knows how long it’s going to take.”


Charles Molineaux

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