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Ogdensburg forgery suspect gets more time to obtain counsel

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An Ogdensburg man accused of nine counts of felony second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and felony third-degree grand larceny will have another week to obtain legal counsel.

Jesse G. Austin, 34, of 212 Montgomery St., was in Ogdensburg City Court Tuesday for what was supposed to be a preliminary hearing before Judge William R. Small. But he had no attorney with him even though he claimed to have filled out an application for legal counsel from the St. Lawrence Office of Indigent Defense after his arrest and arraignment last week.

Neither city court nor the county District Attorney’s Office, however, have seen the application.

Mr. Small ordered Mr. Austin to send in another application. The judge reset the preliminary hearing for May 28.

Mr. Austin is accused of stealing and cashing nine checks totaling $17,460 from the bank account of Edward E. Papp, 82, a resident of St. Joseph’s Home, 950 Linden St., between December and April.

Ogdensburg police suspect that a current or former St. Joseph’s Home assisted Mr. Austin.

Mr. Austin is accused of stealing the St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union checks from Mr. Papp, forging his signature on them and cashing them at the bank’s Ogdensburg and Canton offices. The amounts were $4,800, $1,700, $3,650, $3,400, $920, $500, $650, $920 and $920.

Mr. Austin, who was released from St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, on $3,000 bail, declined Tuesday to comment on the case against him.

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