JOHNSTOWN — The 18-year-old woman indicted on a single felony charge in May in connection with the April hit and run death of a Gloversville man was indicted on a second felony count in July, according to Fulton County Court records. She accepted a plea agreement in county court on Friday, pleading guilty to both felony counts against her, court officials confirmed this week.
Tayler Bates, 18, of 16 S. Center St., Fonda, was charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide, a class E felony, in an indictment unsealed in Fulton County Court on May 30. Bates was arraigned by Fulton County Court Judge Polly Hoye and remanded to the custody of the Fulton County Correctional Facility without bail. She was released from the county jail later that day under the Fulton County Pre-Trial Release Program.
Bates was additionally charged with one count of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, a class D felony, by a Fulton County grand jury in a second indictment signed by Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown on July 2.
Bates is accused of striking 61-year-old Lawrence Douglas Irby Jr., a pedestrian who was in a motorized scooter, on East Fulton Street in Gloversville between Judson Street and Littauer Place on April 13 around 8:20 p.m. and then fleeing the scene. Responding officers located Irby suffering from severe injuries as a result of the crash. He was transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital where he later died.
The July indictment alleges that Bates, “unlawfully and with criminal negligence caused the death of another person” on April 13 through her operation of a 2005 Ford Explorer and “that she knew or had cause to know that personal injury had been caused to another person, due to an incident involving the motor vehicle the defendant was operating, and that the defendant did not, before leaving the place where the said personal injury occurred, stop” or “report said incident as soon as physically able to the nearest police station or judicial officer.”
According to Fulton County Court officials, Bates accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment in county court on Friday.
When contacted for comment Monday and information regarding the terms of the agreement, Brown declined, citing the nature of the case.
According to Bates’ attorney, Stephen Rockmacher of Albany, the plea agreement accepted by his client carries a sentencing recommendation of one and one-third to four years in state prison. By accepting the agreement, Bates waived the right to appeal her case.
“This was a horrible incident, she was driving in a dangerous manner, executed poor judgment, but she has accepted full responsibility and this is a just and fair outcome,” Rockmacher said Monday.
Additionally, Bates is eligible for youthful offender status with a determination on the matter to be made by Hoye at sentencing. If youthful offender status is granted, court filings regarding Bates’ case would automatically be sealed and she would not have a criminal record.
Only those who are at least 14 and younger than 19 at the time the crime is committed and have no prior felony convictions or have never been treated as a youthful offender before can be considered to receive the status, according to nycourts.gov.
Bates will face sentencing in Fulton County Court on Sept. 3 at 2 p.m.