James Josh Carncross was found guilty of causing the death of State Trooper Craig Todeschini by an Onondaga County jury on Wednesday Dec. 6. He faces a minimum of five years and as many as 20 years behind bars. He was acquitted of an aggravated second-degree manslaughter charge, but was found guilty of aggravated criminally negligent homicide. The sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10, after which an appeal is under consideration.
Carncross was supposedly the motorcyclist that Todeschini was chasing when he crashed into a tree on Cherry Street in the Hamlet of Pompey April 23. Carncross's grandparents, Jim and Sue of Cazenovia, have the opinion that the Judge William Walsh was not neutral and showed favoritism toward District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, the prosecution during the trial.
"My grandson had two prosecutors, Walsh and Fitzpatrick," Sue Carncross said. "The defense lawyer Sal Piemonte was put down almost every step of the way. He was crucified."
"There were 20 witnesses on the prosecution's side that gave conflicting stories and descriptions," Jim Carncross said. "One in particular that stuck out was the witness who had experience working with motorcycles stated that the bike he saw had a right hand chain drive and dual exhaust, when in fact Josh's motorcycle had a left hand chain drive and single exhaust."
"One lady was taped saying, 'It was a Suzuki, it was a Suzuki.' She said she could see the emblem," Sue Carncross said. "It was brought up in court, by them even."
Carncross's motorcycle was a Triumph.
"The defense was not allowed to call some experts and the lawyer was told to sit down almost every time he stood up," Jim Carncross said. "It just seemed the judge was partial to the prosecution."
Back on April 23, Trooper Todeschini was on an emergency call, which he aborted to chase a speeding cyclist. A woman had called 911 to report that her emotionally disturbed 8-year-old child was out of control having a tantrum. According to witnesses, the Trooper was travelling at a high rate of speed on 173 in the vicinity of the Jamesville Penitentiary when a motorcycle pulled in front from a side road. It was possible that the cyclist didn't see the speeding Trooper because of a hill near the intersection. A camera trained on 173 from the penitentiary showed a motorcycle as a blur, then a few seconds later, a police car as a blur. The Trooper never called in that he was aborting an emergency call or that he was chasing a speeder, calls that are standard and procedurally required.