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Montauk Man Pleads Not Guilty to Indictment Following Shelter Island Crash

DA's office says William A. Donnelly faces at least 21 years due to a prior felony conviction.

A Montauk man, who led on a chase last month with a van packed with $70,000 in stolen property, is facing serious prison time, in part due to a previous felony conviction.

Judge Stephen Braslow arraigned , 30, on a 16-count indictment on Tuesday. Donnelly pleaded not guilty.

He is being held at the county jail on $500,000, which Braslow set with a bond alternative in the same amount.

According to the indictment, Donnelly burglarized 14 Osborne Ln. in East Hampton and 20 Barns Ln. in East Hampton Village on May 16 and 12 Shepherds Ln. in Amagansett on May 15.

The indictment includes felony charges; three counts of second-degree burglarly and one count of criminal possession of stolen property in the second-degree.

Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman Robert Clifford, Donnelly faces a minimum of seven years in prison on each of the three counts of second-degree burglary the grand jury indicted him on because Donnelly has a violent felony conviction. In 2005, he was convicted of second-degree assault.

Last month, Shelter Island Police Detective Sgt. Jack Thilberg said police tried to pull over Donnelly in a van on Route 114 on May 16 at 3:56 p.m., but he refused, leading police a short case. He ended up crashing on Menantic Road, exited his vehicle and fled on foot into a residential area. Two New York State K9 unit located him hiding in a backyard shed nearby.

Inside the van, police found stolen property, including rifles, shotguns, rare coins, jewelry, and other items. All of the items had been stolen from the East Hampton area, but burglary charges were not immediately added to Donnelly's list of arrest charges as detectives sorted through the items.

The growing case was presented to the grand jury on May 31.

Misdemeanor charges included in the indictment are operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs, two counts of reckless driving, resisting arrest, and six counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth-degree.

Donnelly's previous conviction of second-degree assault, a felony, is noted in the type of weapons charge levied.

Violations are also apart of the indictment, including speeding — police say he was traveling up to 80 mph in a 35 mph zone on Shelter Island, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and failure to maintain lane.

Donnelly will be back in court on July 10.

The Legal Aid Society is representing Donnelly.

Lynn Kaplan June 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Yeah, and he'll be out and about in no time, left to "burgle" again.

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