Ohio trio facing assault charges for blast that critically injured correction officer
ORISKANY, N.Y. (WSTM) - Officials have announced the arrests of three people in connection with the explosive device that critically injured a correction officer in the Town of Floyd last month.
Three people from Conneaut, Ohio -- Keith Seppi, 58; Cindy L. Shields, 58; and Donna J. Seppi, 63 -- have been arrested in connection with the blast that critically injured Alan Dobransky on May 29.
Investigators say Dobransky's employment as a correction officer at the Marcy Correctional Facility wasn't a factor in the attack. Instead, they say Shields was a caretaker for Dobransky's mother in Ohio, and investigators say Shields stole from Dobransky's mother over a period of four years.
When Dobransky caught wind of the theft, investigators say he confronted Shields and intended to report the alleged crime. At that point, officials say Shields, her brother-in-law Keith Seppi, and his wife Donna Seppi hatched the plan to plant the bomb.
Investigators believe Keith Seppi drove some 300 miles from his home in Conneaut Ohio to place a package containing the bomb at Dobransky's home in Floyd. The package detonated in Dobransky's hands, burning half of his body and sending him into the hospital in critical condition. During Wednesday's news conference, officials said Dobransky is still hospitalized in critical condition suffering from those injuries ten days after the blast.
Three separate search warrants were executed at three homes in Conneaut, Ohio Tuesday, and all three suspects were taken into custody without incident, according to investigators.
All three were arraigned in the Town of Floyd Court Wednesday evening, where they pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault. District Attorney Scott McNamara says more charges may come as the investigation continues. At the request of his office, bail was set at $250,000 cash, $500,000 bond for each suspect. They're due back in court on June 13.
"At this point we continue to work very closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office to determine whether or not this case will be handled locally or federally or both," said McNamara. "We will sit down, we will work together and try to determine what is the appropriate way to prosecute this so that we can ensure that justice is served and the maximum amount of time these individuals can receive for what they are accused of doing."
Authorities say Dobransky picked up a package that had been left by his home's mailbox in Floyd at about 8 a.m. on May 29. The package then exploded while he held it.
Dobransky suffered burns to his upper body and was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital, then quickly transported to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
Later that day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for a full investigation to find the person responsible for the "horrific incident," adding the "State of New York has no tolerance for any violence of this sort," while also extending condolences to the family of the victim and wishing him a full and speedy recovery.