Son accused of leaving 83-year-old mother in Oneida woods answers charges

Margaret Zavalidroga

Tomas Zavalidroga was in Oneida City Court Friday morning for a hearing on charges that he led his mother into the woods in Oneida and left her there, and then lied to police, saying he didnâ??t know where she was.

Zavalidroga pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless endangerment and falsely reporting an incident, and then asked to be released on his own recognizance; a request that was denied by the judge. The judge also denied his request to remove a restraining order his mother has against him.

Zavalidroga is being represented by the public defender, but told the Court that he wants a private attorney. The judge is giving him a week to get his legal counsel in order.

Zavalidroga is due back in court on August 1. The judge set bail at $5,000.

Margaret Zavalidroga was reported missing on Friday, July 18 and was found on Monday in the woods behind the Lowes store in Oneida, tired, but otherwise in good health.

Margaret and Tomas have filed several lawsuits against government in New York State. One of the suits demanded a $1 million payment because they claim they were harmed by the Marriage Equality Act.