/ Articles / Sentencing in fatal hit-and-run case pushed back to July

Sentencing in fatal hit-and-run case pushed back to July

April 24, 2020 by Jamie Taylor

The sentencing hearing for the 54-year-old Sugar Camp man accused of fatally striking a motorcyclist on State Highway 17 last August and fleeing the scene has been postponed until the end of July.

Jeffrey M. Liebscher was originally charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and hit and run involving death in connection with an Aug. 28 accident that occurred in front of his driveway on State Highway 17.

Sean J. Holtslander, 23, of St. Germain, was killed.

On Feb. 14, Liebscher pled guilty to the hit and run charge.

Judge Patrick O’Melia accepted the plea agreement between Oneida County district attorney Michael Schiek and Liebscher’s attorney Gary Cirilli. Under the terms of the plea agreement, both the state and defense jointly requested a pre-sentence investigation (PSI). In terms of a sentencing recommendations, Schiek will be bound to ask for a sentence no longer than the recommendation of the PSI investigator, however Cirilli is free to argue for a shorter sentence.

O’Melia ordered the report, and allowed Liebscher to remain free on the $1,500 cash bond ordered in the case by Branch II judge Michael Bloom at the initial appearance Aug. 30, 2019.

Bloom recused himself from the case, noting he knew the defendant.

“I know Mr. Liebscher to be a good man,” Bloom said at the time. “Good luck to you.”

The sentencing hearing was originally set for April 20, but late last week it was rescheduled July 30 at 9 a.m. “due to the COVID-19 situation,” according to a spokesperson in the DA’s office. 

Liebscher faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up $150,000 on the class D felony.

Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at [email protected]

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