July 17, 2008
Husband charged with murder
Charles ‘Randy’ Thibeault arraigned today in death of wife
Joe McIntrye/staff photographer
Charles “Randy” Thibeault Sr. is led to Cortland County Jail this afternoon after being charged today with murdering his estranged wife, Wendy.
CORTLAND — A Cortlandville man was charged this afternoon with murdering his estranged wife in their Tower Road home in May.
Charles “Randy” Thibeault, 59, of 2011 Tower Road, was charged on a sealed indictment with second-degree murder, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree burglary and first-degree criminal contempt, all felonies, for the murder of his wife, Wendy D. Thibeault, 47, who was found dead May 26.
The indictment was unsealed at the beginning of the arraignment around noon in Cortland County Court.
It states that Randy Thibeault caused blunt trauma, fractures of various bones, laceration and asphyxiation by strangulation.
Thibeault, who was wearing jean shorts and a white T-shirt, surrendered himself to the county Sheriff’s Department and was followed by six police officers into the court.
Thibeault’s attorney, Patrick Perfetti, entered a plea of not guilty to all charges.
County Court Judge Julie Campbell said a judge would be selected at random by computer this afternoon or Friday morning to handle the case. At that time, another court date will be set.
Campbell set July 31 as tentative court date. She set bail at $150,000 cash or $300,000 bond.
Thibeault remained in jail as of 1:15 p.m.
Randy and Wendy Thibeault had a troublesome relationship in the months leading up to her murder, and Wendy Thibeault had filed for divorce on May 1.
On April 14, Randy Thibeault was arrested on felony unlawful imprisonment and other charges after his wife told police that during a dispute in the yard of their home about 10 p.m. April 14, he shoved her and choked her until she lost consciousness.
Wendy Thibeault told police her husband had first become violent in April after their separation.
An order of protection was issued after April 14 and Randy Thibeault’s alleged violation of the order to commit the murder was the basis of the criminal contempt charge lodged today.
County District Attorney David Hartnett said he was ready for trial.
Perfetti said after the arraignment that his client is innocent, which is why he surrendered himself to the police and has cooperated with the murder investigation.
He added that at this point, because the indictment was sealed based on grand jury testimony, he could only speculate as to what evidence police and the district attorney have on Thibeault for the murder.
Perfetti said Syracuse-based attorney Emil Rossi will be assisting in further court appearances and procedures. He said he hired him to assist because of the nature of the charges.
“We anticipated this (arrest),” Perfetti said. “It’s clear that the investigation by the State Police and Sheriff’s Department immediately focused on him (Randy Thibeault) and didn’t take into account any other suspects.”
Lori Monahan, Wendy Thibeault’s sister, said this afternoon over the phone that her family thanks Capt. Glenn Mauzy, of the Sheriff’s Department, all the investigators and Hartnett for their hard work.
“We truly just want justice for Wendy,” she said. “The fact that she isn’t here and Randy Sr. is able to walk around is truly bothersome. We’re glad the charges have been brought, but as for bail, we were hoping there was no bail. If Wendy can’t be here why should he be free to do what he wants?”
Monahan said in one sense she is relieved that Randy Thibeault has been arrested, but said the heartache, loss and sadness has not changed.
“I’m so upset with him. I don’t know why he couldn’t work through whatever it was. I don’t understand why anyone would hurt another person, let alone my brother-in-law. He was supposed to take care of her,” Monahan said. “I guess it will never be enough because Wendy is gone. But it would be far worse if no one was charged.”
Mauzy said he is reserving comment until a press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. today at the Cortland County Public Safety Building.
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