BARRE — A Granite City man has admitted to extorting someone and taking their money.
David Moran, 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to felony counts of larceny from a person and extortion and misdemeanor counts of giving false information to law enforcement and disorderly conduct. Moran was sentenced to four to 10 years, all suspended except for two years and placed on probation for 10 years. He had been charged with assault and robbery, but the charge was amended to larceny, per the plea agreement. The state also agreed to drop a felony count of aggravated assault with a weapon and a misdemeanor count of criminal threatening.
Moran has been held without bail at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury since his arraignment in January.
For the larceny and extortion convictions, Officer Michael Reale, of the Barre City police, said in his affidavit a woman came to the police department Jan. 14 to report her son was being blackmailed. The woman provided police with a photo of the person who was blackmailing her son and Reale said he recognized the person as Moran. The woman told police her son is autistic.
Reale said the mother reported her son was in a relationship with a married woman and Moran was asking for money from her son otherwise he was going to tell the married woman’s husband about the affair.
Reale said he spoke with the victim the next day. He said the victim reported Moran had been threatening him via Facebook messages and asking him for money or he would tell the husband. The victim told Reale that Moran had held a knife to the victim’s throat and threatened to kill him at one point.
The victim reported he had given Moran about $350, according to court records. He reported Moran told him if he went to the police and Moran were to be arrested, Moran would get bailed out and he would come and kill the victim and the married woman.
The victim gave police a sworn statement where he said he met with Moran on Jan. 9 and Moran made him turn over all the money he had after he cashed his check from work. He told police he met with Moran at the Budget Inn on Jan. 10. He told police he didn’t have the money Moran had asked for so Moran took out a knife and told him, “You better get my money or I’ll kill you.”
For the false information conviction, Sgt. Steven J. Durgin, also of the Barre City police, said in his affidavit a stabbing was reported in the parking lot behind Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen. Durgin said Moran told police someone had stabbed him in the leg with a knife. He said Moran showed him the injury to his leg, but it didn’t look like a stab wound from a knife.
Durgin said Moran obtained a temporary restraining order against the person he said stabbed him. He said Moran later reported to police the person had violated the order by yelling at him, but a witness told police he was at the scene at the time and no yelling or altercation took place.
The disorderly conduct conviction stems from the same incident where police said Moran was chasing after the person he claimed stabbed him.