Two Sunmount cases postponed, one set for dismissal

TUPPER LAKE — Three Sunmount employees charged with fighting with a resident and cover-up had their trials postponed in Tupper Lake town court Wednesday evening, with one set to be dismissed under certain circumstances.

Joshua D. Beitter, 35, and Magnus S. Stalhammar, 44, both of Tupper Lake are each charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, and third-degree attempted assault. Barbara Botala, 56, of Tupper Lake is charged with making a false written statement.

The charges originate from a Nov. 3 report of abuse, when police say Beitter and Stalhammar fought with a 26-year-old male resident of Sunmount, who sustained bruising and minor abrasions.

Sunmount is a state-run residential care network for developmentally disabled people that is part of the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and is based in a former veterans hospital in Tupper Lake.

Beitter and Stalhammar’s cases were adjourned for one month, giving the defense and district attorney more time to discuss the case and find a resolution. They will return to court on Valentines Day, Feb. 14 at 5 p.m.

Botala’s case was adjourned for six months in contemplation of dismissal. Her case will be dismissed if she remains arrest- and conviction- free during those six months and does not work at Sunmount. Botala has essentially resigned from her position at the OPWDD facility.

Franklin County District Attorney Craig Carriero said since she had no criminal history and a lesser charge he was content with dismissing the charge.

“I think it goes to show that we will protect the patients, consumers at Sunmount if we have to, with the assistance of the Justice Center,” Carriero said.