May 2, 2011 —
Joe Naughton, owner of the Western Hotel in Callicoon, was sentenced on April 29 to 16 months to four years in prison for selling alcohol to a minor. Naughton was caught in a police sting on February 26 at liquor store in the hotel when he sold a bottle of wine to an undercover officer.
The sale was a misdemeanor but also a violation of his parole. Naughton was on probation for the shooting death of local actress Lori Schubeler in April 2008. At the trial for that incident, Naughton admitted that he had been drinking at the time of the incident, which was described as an accident. He pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to six months in the county jail.
Schubeler’s family and some members of the community did not think the sentence was severe enough given the loss of life.
In this case, district attorney Jim Farrell asked judge Michael McGuire to impose the maximum penalty allowed under law. Naughton’s lawyer, Joseph Ruyack, argued that his client had been fulfilling all the terms of his parole and the sale of a bottle of wine did not merit a prison term.
McGuire did not agree, and Naughton was immediately led away in handcuffs.