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Eldridge pleads not guilty

    YATES COUNTY—Steven A. Eldridge, 42, Penn Yan, pled not guilty in Yates County Court, Friday, Oct.
 14, charges stemming from the July road accident that resulted in the deaths of six Amish farmers.
    District Attorney Jason Cook said Public Defender Ed Brockman, who is representing Eldridge, served notice of intent to offer psychiatric evidence.
    Eldridge will remain in custody on $125,000 bail or $250,000 bond. Cook said no further court date has been set yet.
    Eldridge was indicted on 18 separate counts:
    • Aggravated vehicular homicide (class B felony).
    • Aggravated vehicular assault (class C).
    • Six counts of manslaughter in the second degree (class C).
    • Three counts of assault in the second degree (class D).
    • Driving while ability was impaired (DWAI).
    • Reckless driving.
    • Five counts of assault in the third degree.
    Eldridge was initially charged with multiple counts of criminally negligent homicide and other related vehicle and traffic counts from the accident on Pre-emption Road, July 19, 2011. Authorities said while driving, Eldridge allegedly struck a van transporting 13 Amish farmers from Steuben County, causing them to crash into a farm sprayer tractor. The reports said five people died at the crash, with a sixth person dying later from injuries sustained in the accident.
    Three days after the incident in July, Eldridge was temporarily transferred to the Rochester Psychiatric Center for evaluation and treatment. At the time, Sheriff Ron Spike said the Yates County Jail medical staff made the transfer recommendation. Eldridge was returned to Yates in early September.




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