COOPERSTOWN _ Anthony Pacherille pleaded not guilty Friday to attempted second-degree murder as a hate crime and other charges.
Appearing in Otsego County Court, Pacherille was described by his attorney as suicidal and in need of treatment. He has remained at Bassett Medical Center under 24-hour guard since April 2, when he allegedly shot and wounded a fellow Cooperstown High School student around the corner from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and turned the gun on himself.
Pacherille’s attorney, James Hartmann of Delhi, asked that his client be released on bail under the condition he be sent to Four Winds Hospital, a mental health facility in Saratoga Springs while he awaits further court action. Hartmann said Pacherille could be released next week and be sent to Otsego County jail.
“The jail can do a great job, but they aren’t psychiatrists,” Hartmann said during Pacherille’s arraignment.
However, Burns said it appears the county is meeting Pacherille’s psychiatric needs at Bassett.
“The problem is they can’t keep him there,” Hartmann countered.
“I know Bassett Healthcare will not release someone who is suicidal,” Burns responded.
Burns denied the motion, saying Hartmann did not present any evidence Four Winds was a secure facility. But he said Hartmann can resubmit his motion at any time.
Pacherille, who is white, also was indicted on a charge of first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, a count that states he shot Lippitt "with intent to cause serious physical injury" because, or substantially because, Lippitt is black.
A third count charges Pacherille with second-degree assault as a hate crime.
He also was indicted on a charge of first-degree criminal use of a firearm.
According to police, at about 3 p.m. on April 2, Pacherille was driving his father's car when he saw fellow Cooperstown student Wesley Lippitt, 16, in Cooper Park beside the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Bystanders say Pacherille jumped out of the car, and carrying a .22 caliber rifle, chased Lippitt down Fair Street to the doorway of the Cooperstown Police Department office.
In the hallway in front of the police station, he shot Lippitt once, fired another round into the police station, then turned the gun on himself when confronted by Officer James Cox, according to Cooperstown Police Chief Diana Nicols.
Pacherille shot himself in the chin, and the bullet lodged in his forehead. He was taken to Bassett, where he has remained since the incident.
Escorted into court by corrections officers Friday, Pacherille showed no visible signs of injury. An intravenous hookup was in his left arm. Pacherille also appeared to speak without any difficulty.
Lippitt was hit in the left arm. He was treated at Bassett and released soon after the shooting. His mother, Tracey Lippitt, has said her adopted son is recovering full use of his arm and is running for the Cooperstown High School track team this spring.
Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl was at today’s hearing, as were about a half-dozen of Pacherille’s family members.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for June 18. Pacherille is scheduled to be released from Bassett in about a week, and would then be transferred to the county jail. Hartmann said he will re-file a motion for bail.