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January 23, 2014

Renert indicted on attempted murder

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
Cooperstown Crier

---- — Burglary suspect Barry Renert has been indicted and arraigned on three charges, including attempted murder.

The Grand Jury of the County of Otsego returned the indictment on Jan. 16. Renert was indicted on one count of attempted murder in the second degree, one count of attempted assault in the first degree and one count of burglary in the second degree. He was arraigned in Otsego County Court the next day. These three charges were the only ones Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl presented to the grand jury. 

If convicted, Renert could face up to 25 years in prison.

The charges stem from an incident on the morning of Dec. 23.

Renert is accused of entering the Seventh Inning Stretch store in Cooperstown, his former place of employment, dressed in black and wearing a mask. Renert confronted Seventh Inning Stretch owner Vincent Carfagno and displayed a 9mm Glock handgun. Carfagno then produced his own handgun and fired at Renert, causing him to flee. Renert was apprehended in Virginia that night.

Renert, 62, chose to waive extradition, and was returned to New York on Jan. 5. Renert is being held in Otsego County Jail for lack of $500,000 cash or $1 million bond bail and is currently being represented by Assistant Public Defender James Ferrari. He is next scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial conference on Feb. 14.

The aftermath of the Dec. 23 incident shut down downtown Cooperstown for several hours. Muehl says, however, that that isn’t going to factor into his prosecution of the case against Renert.

“I don’t have any interest in that it shut down downtown for a day,” said Muehl. “My main concern is that a violent crime took place.”

Muehl did say, however, this assessment would be different if it appeared that disrupting downtown had been part of Renert’s intentions.

Muehl also said that it was likely he would offer Renert some kind of plea deal.

“I always make an offer in almost every case,” said Muehl, who said that he didn’t know what the offer would look like at this time. “It’s way too early to know.”

Muehl said that the Renert case was a high priority, and that he was waiting to receive reports on the Dec. 23 incident from both the Cooperstown Police Department and the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office. He also said that Carfagno, as a witness and victim, would be asked to testify, in the event of a trial.

Muehl said that it could be a while until the trial starts. 

“I wouldn’t expect anything for at least six months,” he said.