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Fourth Dept. reinstates murder charge

The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, on Friday unanimously reversed a decision of County Court Judge Douglas Randall in which he had reduced a second-degree murder charge against Maxwell Charles Wyant to first-degree assault.


The Appellate Division sided with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office that the evidence presented to the grand jury was legally sufficient to support the murder charge in connection with the Feb. 8 death of Christopher Schoen, a former roommate of Wyant’s, over a property dispute in Brighton.


The Appellate Division further held that Judge Randall erred in his assessment that the people failed to properly qualify a physician employed by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office as an expert.


The case is being sent back to County Court for further proceedings on the higher charge.


“I am very pleased that we are one step closer to obtaining justice for Christopher Schoen and his family,” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.