The court appearance of Nathan Poffenbarger ’08, accused of stabbing a visiting student early Saturday, was delayed yesterday as Poffenbarger sought legal counsel. The appearance had been scheduled for 10 a.m. yesterday; court employees said that his appearance was rescheduled for 2 p.m. today.
Yesterday, Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson said that she would charge Poffenbarger with a hate crime if there is enough evidence to do so. To fall under bias crime laws, the crime must be shown to be racially motivated.
“We’re looking very hard at [what element race played],” she said.
Poffenbarger, who is white, reportedly used racial epithets earlier in the evening and then shortly before the altercation that ended in Charles Holiday’s stabbing. Holiday, who is black, is a senior at Union College. Holiday has been released in stable condition from Elmira’s Arnot Ogden Medical Center, according to Carolyn Handrick, director of community relations and public affairs at the hospital.
Wilkinson said that she will be handling the case personally and is waiting to meet the victim before deciding how to proceed.
“I do not intend to delay this case,” she said. She said the actual trial would probably occur over the summer.
As of last night Poffenbarger remained in custody of the Tompkins County Jail. His bail has been set at $20,000 cash, $40,000 bond.
Archived article by Sun Staff