Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jury Takes Three Hours To Slam Minister With Guilty Verdict For Forging, Recording Phony Deed In Attempt To Swipe Title To Home He Was Renting From Out-Of-State Landlord

In Syracuse, New York, reports:
  • A Syracuse minister was found guilty last week of filing a fake deed in an attempt to take possession of a South Side residence.

    The Rev. L. Micah Dexter was found guilty Thursday [July 13] of possessing a forged instrument and filing it, both felonies. He faces up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison when sentenced. He remains free on bail until sentencing.

    Dexter, minister of Greater New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, filed the fake deed in 2013 during a long landlord-tenant dispute with a South Carolina man, James Greene.

    At issue was a deed that Dexter filed with a copied signature page, purporting to show that Greene had signed over his rights to the house.

    In fact, that signature page was copied from another document. Greene flew in from South Carolina for the trial, as did the notary public who stamped the original document.

    Dexter took the stand in his own defense, but was unable to sway the jury.

    State Supreme Court Justice John Brunetti had said that if Dexter took the stand and lied, he would sentence the defendant to incarceration.

    Given that the jury decided against Dexter, the judge could very well send the minister to prison. The jury deliberated for about three hours Thursday before finding Dexter guilty, prosecutor Lindsey Luczka said.

    Luczka said she would push for state prison, "given the defendant's criminal history, actions in this case and performance on the witness stand."

    Dexter's previous conviction of obstructing police during a 2014 confrontation was fair game after Dexter took the witness stand in his own defense.

    A lawsuit filed by Greene in civil court included a copy of the original signature page of a deed he signed and another one that he said Dexter stole to create the phony deed. (That lawsuit has since been dismissed on procedural -- not factual -- grounds.)