ITHACA, N.Y. — A Tompkins County judge decided that a man found with drugs and guns in Ithaca will continue to be held without bail for the time being.

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Corbin D. Whyte was pulled over on March 28 after police recognized him from a warrant issued for his arrest. In the vehicle, police said they found seven guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, prescription pills and more than $1,000 in cash.

He’s charged with two counts to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Whyte was being held without bail from the Ithaca City Court, which does not have the jurisdiction to set bail on felony charges.

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In the county court Tuesday afternoon, Whyte’s attorney Edward Goehler said that it was a “ludicrous proposition” to think Whyte would not appear in court to face the charges against him.

Whyte previously beat three separate murder trials in Tompkins County. He was accused in connection with the shooting death of Paul Garcia in 2010. He was found guilty of tampering with physical evidence, a felony.

Goehler said, “He showed up for a murder case, judge. He didn’t run away from a murder charge…I think that speaks volumes.”

He went on to say that Whyte’s family lives in the county and that the defendant is professionally invested in multiple business in the county.

Goehler said Whyte is unlikely to accept a plea in this case and should be released on bail pending the trial.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia said that just because Whyte appeared in court for a murder trial does not mean he can’t be taken into custody without bail for other charges.

He told Judge Joseph Cassidy that Whtye could, if found guilty of all current charges, face nearly as many years in prison as he would have if he’d been convicted for murder — possibly 20.

“They are completely different,” he said about the cases.

He said the fact that Whyte also has connections in Florida, where his parole was transferred after being found guilty of tampering with evidence, means that he could leave Tompkins County upon his release.

“That would give Mr. Whyte ease to flee,” Bonavia said.

Cassidy said that while it works in favor of Whyte that he appeared in court on the murder charges and is invested in the community through family and business, there were other “significant” issues to consider.

For instance, Whyte has been convicted of two felonies and five misdemeanors. He also had a bench warrant issued for his arrest in 2009 and a parole warrant issued for his arrest from Florida.

Cassidy upheld the no bail hold on Whyte, but said the defense can fight for bail again after he’s indicted.

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Jolene Almendarez

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