ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca man pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to threatening a woman with an illegal taser  at the Cedar Creek Apartments in September.

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Donald E. Van Schoick pleaded guilty to a felony for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and misdemeanor for second-degree menacing. The deal recommends a sentence of six months in jail and five years of probation for the felony and a three year concurrent probation sentence for the misdemeanor.

He was originally also charged with a misdemeanor for endangering the welfare of a child after being accused of threatening a group of children with a taser, but the charge was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Donald E. Van Schoick

During court, Judge John Rowley read the accusations against Van Schoick asking if the allegations were true.

Van Schoick confirmed them and said, “I know now,” that the taser is illegal to possess in New York.

Tiago County District Attorney Kirk Martin handled the case after a conflict of interest was cited by Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson’s office.

According to court paperwork, the conflict of interest is that an employee at the courthouse is related to Van Schoick.

Rowley said in court that he has developed a professional relationship with the relative over the course of several years and offered to not preside over the case if the lawyers requested it.

No objections were raised to his participation in the case.

Van Schoick is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 4.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.