ITHACA, N.Y. — A man who spent a year on the lam after being accused of stealing money and equipment from an Ithaca cemetery is now in custody.
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Scott E. Goodrich, 52, turned himself in to New York State Police troopers after he said he spent about a year “out west” avoiding capture.
He’s charged with second-degree grand larceny. An indictment filed against him said he wrote checks to himself in excess of $50,000 and stole equipment — tractor mowers, weed cutters, a heater — from the Lake View Cemetery from Dec. 1, 2012 to Jan. 31, 2014.
He was arrested for the crime on Feb. 18, 2014 and due to be arraigned on March 10, 2015. But he never showed.
Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski said, “The defendant has been on the run…It’s been an entire year.”
She said Goodrich was given the opportunity to pay the cemetery $15,000 — substantially less than the nearly $65,000 he’s accused of stealing — but he did not do so by the January 2015 deadline he agreed upon.
“He knew that we were going to be pursuing this crime,” Filipowski said. “He then takes off out of state.”
Judge John Rowley set Goodrich’s bail at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond. He scheduled the defendant to appear in court again for arraignment of Friday.
V. Thomas Wakula, president of the Board of Directors for Lake View Cemetery, was at the court appearance Monday afternoon.
“I was surprised that he turned himself in,” Wakula said.
He said the cemetery is about 18 to 20 acres big and home to around 8,000 burials.
The cemetery, he said, requires a minimum yearly budget of $40,000.
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