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Keuka Maid captain gets jury verdict

    MILO—Captain Robert A. Hicks Jr. was found guilty by jury verdict of three charges concerning the Keuka Maid being moved up the lake to Penn Yan, Nov. 1, 2010.
    Milo Justice John Symonds said Hicks was found guilty of not having registration numbers properly displayed, original registration was not available upon demand, and there were no visual distress signals on board the vessel, Saturday, Feb. 11, in Milo town court.  Symonds added Hicks was found not guilty of reckless operation, having no fire extinguishers, not having all-around white lights, and interfering with free and safe navigation.
    The Keuka Maid, owned by Robert Pfuntner, was moved up the lake in November of 2010 from its dock position in Hammondsport.  It came as close as the lake shore would allow to the Sarrasin’s Restaurant.  The Yates County Sheriff’s officers boarded the boat, made the charges, and ordered the Keuka Maid to return to Hammondsport.
    The prosecution called five witnesses at the trial: Marine Patrol Officer Pamela Housel, Marine Patrol Officer Greg Fingar, Jerrie Briggs (a passenger on the vessel), Captain Edwin Briggs (another passenger), and Pfuntner.  The defense called only Hicks.
    According to the defense attorney Robert Siglin, a civil lawsuit has been filed in Yates County Supreme Court charging the sheriff’s department with false imprisonment of the individuals onboard the Keuka Maid who remained in police custody for over nine hours and trespassing on Pfuntner’s private vessel.  In a press release, Siglin said the jury’s verdict adds merit to the civil claims filed against the sheriff.




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