LAKE PLACID - A state appeals court has upheld a Tupper Lake handyman's conviction as an accomplice in a Lake Placid woman's murder 14 years ago.
Nicholas D. Pecararo pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against Jeffrey T. Glanda, a court stenographer who hired him to help murder Glanda's estranged wife Jeannine.
Pecararo and Jeffrey Glanda attacked Jeannine in her home. Jeffrey subdued her with a stun gun and drowned her with jugs of lake water to make the death look like accidental drowning. She was found submerged in her Ford Explorer in Upper Cascade Lake, between Lake Placid and Keene.
Essex County sheriff's deputies lead Nicholas Pecararo in handcuffs between jail and court in January 2000 in Elizabethtown, during the murder trial for Jeffrey Glanda.
(Enterprise file photo — Victoria Hristovski)
Pecararo was arrested at a bus stop in Glens Falls, Glanda after a high-speed chase from Saranac Lake toward Lake Placid. Pecararo was sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison, Glanda to life without parole.
Pecararo had appealed his conviction on several grounds, including that he was coerced into accepting the plea to avoid a death sentence. However, the Third Department of the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division ruled on April 21 that "it is well established that it is not coercive for counsel to recommend that a defendant accept a plea agreement in order to avoid facing a harsher sentence if convicted at trial. Further, a plea is not rendered involuntary because the defendant pleaded guilty in order to avoid exposure to the death penalty."
`Pecararo also alleged police conduct in telling him how to testify, and that he was entitled to a hearing on whether the conviction should be vacated due to ineffective assistance of his lawyer. The court denied these and all the other grounds of appeal.
Pecararo is serving his sentence at Auburn Correctional Facility in Cayuga County and will be eligible for parole in 2017. Glanda is at Attica Correctional Facility in Wyoming County.
Contact Nathan Brown at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.