Schenectady County

Inmate convicted in Schenectady County jail attack

A man acquitted in a jail assault on a fellow inmate a year ago was convicted Friday in another jail

A man acquitted in a jail assault on a fellow inmate a year ago was convicted Friday in another jail assault, this time on a corrections officer.

Cory Ford, 30, was convicted in Schenectady County Court of all counts against him, including first-degree assault and aggravated assault on a peace officer. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

The jury found that Ford caused serious injury to Corrections Officer Jeffrey Riccio on Feb. 19, 2014, by hitting him with a plastic water jug at the Schenectady County jail, prosecutor Kevin Cheung said.

Riccio was escorting Ford back to his cell with fellow Corrections Officer Anthony Massaro when Ford turned on them, Cheung said. Massaro, who was also leaving at the time and carrying the jug, took Ford to the floor. In the ensuing struggle, Ford got hold of the jug and hit Riccio two or three times before being subdued, Cheung said.

Riccio sustained a concussion and has had lasting after-effects, Cheung said. He has not returned to work in the year since.

Cheung successfully argued Riccio’s injuries were serious enough to meet the required legal definition for the top assault counts.

Ford gave no visible reaction as the jury foreperson read the verdict. Presiding over the case was Judge James Murphy.

Ford was represented by attorney John Della Ratta. Della Ratta said afterward an appeal is expected.

The defense questioned the severity of the officer’s injuries. They also disputed that Ford caused the injuries. The jury rejected both arguments.

Ford was offered a plea deal prior to trial that included a sentence of seven years in prison.

The most serious count, aggravated assault on a peace officer, carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of 30. Sentencing is scheduled for March.

The assault happened about a month after Ford was tried and acquitted in the other jail assault case. In that case, Ford was accused of taking part in a series of attacks on a witness who was to testify in a murder trial.

Ford was one of four inmates charged. He was the only one to take his case to trial, though, and was found not guilty in January 2014.

Ford was freed, but was arrested again days later in a new assault case and returned to jail, where he was accused of assaulting Riccio the next month.

Categories: Schenectady County

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