The end of the December holidays means court is back in earnest with several cases of interest on the docket this week:
1. Pretrial hearings begin Wednesday for Brian Roach and Daniel Sanchez, who are facing life in prison in the slayings of two men, one a local gang leader, and the shootings of four others in a Yonkers apartment in 2010.
Roach, 21, of Yonkers (far left) and Sanchez, 23, of Brooklyn (left), have been indicted on charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery, burglary and weapon possession. Their trial could start as early as next week.
The pair is accused of breaking into an apartment in Cromwell Towers on Locust Hill Avenue on July 7, 2010 for a robbery and killing 21-year-old Kasheem Little, the leader of the Strip Boyz gang known as “Killa Kash” as well as 23-year-old Carlton McLeod. A 5-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and two men, ages 33 and 56, were all shot but survived.
Police are still searching for a third suspect, 23-year-old Ronnell Jones. Police said Jones has been dressing like a woman to avoid arrest.
2. Two men accused of grand larceny are set to make court appearances this week. Former parking lot manager James Lozada of Queens is scheduled to be arraigned by Superior Court Information on Wednesday while Frank Degrasse, a disbarred lawyer from South Salem, is to be sentenced on Thursday.
Lozada, 36, who managed a parking lot at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, is accused of keeping past employees names on the payroll from February 2009 to February 2011 so he could cash their paychecks and deposit others into his girlfriend’s bank account, according to the county District Attorney’s office.
Degrasse, who is a former New York City police detective, pleaded guilty Oct. 4 to first-degree scheme to defraud, a charge punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison. The plea covered the entire 31-count indictment that he was facing, which included charges of second-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a forged instrument, identity theft and falsifying business records, all felonies.
Lawrence Bottone, 53, (left) is accused of torturing five young minority men in a phony security-training program and faces numerous charges of assault, unlawful imprisonment and criminal impersonation.
Prosecutors say Bottone, from Stamford, Conn., brutalized men in their late teens and early 20s with broom handles, chains and pins in an elaborate scheme in which he posed as a security force trainer in Westchester. He is being held on $250,000 bail and faces decades in prison if convicted.