Murder suspect pleads not guilty

Jeffrey Field, 33, of Cairo pleaded not guilty at his hospital arraignment Tuesday. Melanie Lekocevic/Columbia-Greene Media

ALBANY — A Cairo man charged in the Aug. 22 stabbing death of a Catskill man pleaded not guilty at his arraignment from his hospital bed at Albany Medical Center on Tuesday, Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said.

The plea from Jeffrey Field, 33, was entered by the court on his behalf, Stanzione said.

Field, represented by Tom Melanson of Melanson Law Office in Kingston, is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of 28-year-old Adam White and second-degree attempted murder in an alleged attack on Christopher Gere, 29, of Cairo, and second-degree assault, Stanzione said Monday in a statement.

Melanson confirmed in a phone call Tuesday afternoon that he objected to the jurisdiction of the arraignment on the grounds it was taking place in Albany County at Albany Medical Center and not Greene County.

Melanson said it was “very unusual” to have an arraignment at a hospital bed and his client stood mute to preserve the objection of jurisdiction. He also said the judge should not have been from Albany County.

“He should be arraigned in Greene County,” Melanson said.

The judge proceeded with the arraignment after Melanson’s objection, Stanzione said. The court will typically enter a plea of not guilty if a defendant refuses to enter one or even speak.

Field is recovering from “injuries he sustained in an automobile accident that occurred as he allegedly fled from law enforcement after committing additional felony offenses in Saratoga County,” Stanzione said.

Because of prior convictions, including felonies, Stanzione asked the judge either not to set bail or set high bail. The judge denied bail ordered Field turned over to the custody of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

Stanzione said the county sheriff does not have the manpower to supply two corrections officers, so Field will be moved to the Department of Corrections’ wing of Albany Medical Center as a courtesy to the county.

Field was indicted Sept. 2 by a Greene County grand jury, Stanzione said.

The grand jury found enough evidence to accuse Field of second-degree murder. White was pronounced dead at the scene outside 31 Summit Ave., in the village of Catskill.

Stanzione said no further proceedings will take place at the hospital. For further hearings, Field will need to be recovered enough to be present in court, and Stanzione said Field may need additional surgeries or rehabilitation. The nature of Field’s injuries has not been disclosed.

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