Repscher sentenced in town court on petit larceny charge

BERNE — Taylor Repscher, 20, accused last summer of stealing from the town highway garage where he worked, was sentenced Tuesday night in Berne Town Court.  Not only will he serve no jail time, but his crime may eventually be expunged from the official records three years from now, providing he fulfills all the conditions of the plea deal under which he was sentenced.

Repscher, a resident of East Berne, said only one word during the proceedings: “Guilty.” His plea was not to the original felony charge of grand larceny but to a reduced misdemeanor charge of petit larceny, as provided by the deal worked out  by his attorney, Lee Kindlon, and the Albany County District Attorney’ Office.

Repscher, a tall lanky young man, was dressed in khaki pants and a blue dress shirt. His father accompanied him to court and brushed off a reporter, seeking comment. Repscher was sentenced by Justice Alan Zuk.

He is to serve a suspended sentence of three years under probation supervision;  perform 100 hours of community service with the East Berne Volunteer Fire Company, and make full restitution to the town and to its highway superintendent, Randy Bashwinger, for the property he stole from both,

Kindlon told the court that he had worked out a further understanding with Assistant District Attorney Brittany Grome:  If his client completes all the terms of his sentence, without re-offending, he will be eligible to return to court in three years’ time to withdraw his guilty plea and plead guilty to a lesser, non-criminal charge. Grome was in court Tuesday evening, representing the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.

After the sentencing, Kindlon told The Enterprise, “I have gotten to know Taylor and his family well. He has a bright future and wants to show that the faith in him was well founded.” (See related story, altamontenterprise.com).

Repscher, a 2014 Berne-Knox-Westerlo graduate, was hired part-time by the highway department in the spring, Bashwinger told The Enterprise earlier; in July, Bashwinger told the town board that his own framing gun as well as the town’s demolition saw, leaf blower, and two chain saws were missing from the garage.

Repscher was arrested on Aug. 23 by sheriff’s deputies, charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony; he admitted his guilt at the time, the sheriff’s office said.

Both Bashwinger and Supervisor Kevin Crosier had spoken up for Repscher’s character. Bashwinger called Repscher “a very hard worker” and Crosier said he had worked with the district attorney’s office and with the chief of the East Berne fire company to formulate the plea deal. “He’s a good young man,” said Crosier. “His family has been here for generations.”

Of the arrangement for possible further clemency in three years’ time, Kindlon told The Enterprise Tuesday night, ‘It will be a tough row to hoe. But I am an eternal optimist.’”
Asked if he had any insight, now that he knows Repscher well, why the young man stole, Kindlon said, “What can I say? Young men can be knuckleheads.”

More Hilltowns News

  • A Black Lives Matter rally planned by Berne resident Laurie Searl has drawn strong criticism on Facebook, leaving some would-be attendants worried about a counter-protest that could turn violent, as has happened both locally and across the country.

  • Berne-Knox-Westerlo has published its reopening plan on its website. Governor Andrew Cuomo will determine the first week of August whether schools will reopen statewide. 

  • The Berne Town Board has spent more than $15,000 on investigations according to documents received by The Enterprise through a Freedom of Information Law request. All the investigations appear to have been of Democratic town board members. One recently led to a censure by partisan vote; the others were unsubstantiated.

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