KINGSTON – On Friday Feb. 9, 2018, an Ulster County jury of 8 men and 4 women found Eschell Ashcroft, age 49, of Napanoch, guilty of Aggravated Harassment of an Employee by an Inmate.
According to Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright, the evidence at trial established that the defendant, while an inmate at Eastern Correctional Facility, threw urine on a corrections officer.
According to records: the urine struck the officer in his face, his shirt, and his pants. The incident was captured on video surveillance. Numerous corrections officers testified at trial, including the officer who was struck by the urine, along with a serologist from the New York State Police Crime Lab who testified that the substance thrown on the officer tested positive for urine.
Defendant testified at trial that he did not throw anything on the officer, and tried to argue that the case was a set up by the Department of Corrections. The defense called a DNA expert from Ohio, who was paid approximately $5,000.00 who testified that the defendant was not a major contributor to DNA found on the officer’s shirt and that there was other DNA found on the shirt which had an insufficient amount of DNA to develop a profile. The expert could not controvert that the substance on the CO’s shirt was urine.
New York case law prevented the jury from hearing that the defendant was convicted in 2005 for throwing feces on a corrections officer while he was confined in Sullivan Correctional Facility. In addition to his prior conviction for that crime, defendant’s criminal history consists of two convictions for Attempted Robbery 2nd degree, Reckless Endangerment and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance for selling crack cocaine.
Sentencing is scheduled on May 9, 2018 in front of Judge Donald Williams. He faces a potential sentence of 2.5-5 years in prison.