Teen killer to appeal sentence


Recorder News Staff

FONDA -- One of the teens who killed two Amsterdam boys last summer is appealing his sentence, according to court documents.

An attorney for Anthony E. Brasmeister, 17, of Vanderveer Street, Amsterdam, filed a notice of appeal Thursday at the Montgomery County Clerk's Office.

On July 11, Judge Polly Hoye sentenced Brasmeister to spend between 25 years to life in prison, while Brasmeister's codefendant Matthew Phelps was sentenced to spend between 15 years to life in prison.

Both were also ordered to pay $3,480 in restitution to Sandra Damphier, mother of 16-year-old Paul Damphier. Phelps and Brasmeister shot Damphier and 13-year-old Jonathan DeJesus were in their foreheads on July 9, 2012 in a soybean field not far from Phelps' grandparents' home.

Both teens' sentences were contingent upon waiving their right to appeal, but District Attorney James E. "Jed" Conboy said Friday he believes Brasmeister is contesting the restitution order.

Conboy said the restitution order was joint and several, meaning either Phelps and Brasmeister "are on the hook for the entire thing until it's paid off in full."

During the hearing, Hoye indicated the restitution was for expenses related to Paul Damphier's headstone, keepsakes and crosses. She said the funds will be drawn from any inmate funds Phelps and Brasmeister receive during their incarceration, and any amount unpaid at the time of release will be arranged by the county probation department.

Attorney Joseph McCoy, Brasmeister's counsel, did not return an e-mail or phone message Friday. But at the July 11 sentence hearing, Hoye said during a prior conference in chambers, McCoy raised that there was no record of the restitution in Brasmeister's plea file.

"It's our position that was not made part of the original plea agreement," McCoy told Hoye.

Hoye said there were no specific records found in reference to the restitution in Brasmeister's plea, however, Hoye said the law doesn't require restitution to be spelled out during plea arrangements.

McCoy said he respected Hoye's decision, and said he had no reason to believe the numbers were inaccurate or out of order, but said Brasmeister would reserve his right to appeal on "limited issues" like the restitution.

Documents McCoy filed Thursday say the attorney intends to "provide [Brasmeister] with application on how to proceed as a 'poor person' and with any other appropriate documentation."

According to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website, Brasmeister entered the Elmira Correctional Facility on July 15. He'll become eligible for parole on July 14, 2037. He'll be 41.

The site has no file for Phelps. The 16-year-old is incarcerated at a high-security youth detention facility, Conboy said. He'll be eligible for parole when he's 31.