Tampering charge leads to jail time

JOHNSTOWN -A Johnstown man, who Gloversville police said tampered with evidence in connection with an incident before the July 2010 unsolved murder of Brian Morrison, was sentenced Wednesday in Fulton County Court to 56 days in the county jail.

Orlando D. Rodriguez, 29, of 118 E. Clinton St., was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Polly A. Hoye to jail time and five years probation, as part of a plea arrangement.

Sentencing was based on the defendant’s Feb. 19 guilty plea to one felony count of tampering with physical evidence.

Gloversville police are still investigating Morrison’s murder and have not charged anyone with stabbing him to death.

Morrison, of Johnstown, suffered stab wounds to the neck and was found on Bleecker Street before being taken to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, where he was pronounced dead the night of July 6, 2010.

Rodriguez was charged Nov. 1 by Gloversville police. He was with another defendant in the case – Derrick R. Paul, 29, of 23 E. Main St., St. Johnsville – the night of the killing.

Gloversville police Capt. Anthony Clay said Friday that Rodriguez helped Paul dispose of Morrison’s wallet.

Police say Morrison was alive when he left Doc’s Remedy Inn on Bleecker Street about 11:30 p.m., July 6, 2010. Some time between 11:30 p.m. and midnight, Clay said, police believe Paul assaulted Morrison, and – after a separate incident – Morrison’s body was found on Bleecker Street. Morrison was then taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A grand jury’s indictment alleges Paul punched Morrison in the jaw, rendering him unconscious, and stole his wallet. The indictment further alleges that on July 6 or 7, 2010, Paul hid the wallet, which had no money in it, then destroyed it by burning it. Paul at the time was living in an apartment on Bleecker Street.

Paul pleaded guilty in March to second-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence and will be sentenced April 29 to seven years in state prison.