A local business owner accused of assault against his wife last fall was found guilty of one felony count by a Washington County jury on Friday afternoon.
The jury found Robert A. Elmy guilty of second-degree assault but acquitted him on additional charges.
Elmy, 63, was charged with assaulting his wife, Patricia Elmy, in their apartment at Champlain Harbor Marina, causing her to suffer serious head injuries last Oct. 10. He then drove her to Glens Falls Hospital and she was later transferred to Albany Medical Center.
The injuries were so severe that doctors placed in her a medically induced coma. She spent nine days in the hospital but has since recovered from her injuries.
Police officers questioned Elmy at the hospital and he was later transferred to Whitehall Police Department where he was formally arrested.
Although her recollections of the evening were limited, Patricia Elmy, 29, testified that her husband gave her unusual tasting drinks over a period of several days, ending with a fight in which he punched her and knocked her to the floor. She said their relationship was strained by a difficult year for the business.
Washington County prosecutors allege that Elmy had drugged his wife’s drinks, but a jury acquitted him of a felony assault charge related to the drugs, as well as charges related to her injuries and unlawful imprisonment.
They did find him guilty of keeping his wife intoxicated. They said he put alcohol in her Vitamin Water, including on the way to the hospital.
Officials said her blood alcohol content was .41 when she arrived at the hospital. A BAC in excess of .40 is considered life-threatening.
Washington County district attorney Kevin Kortright praised the work of the police agencies involved and prosecutor Devin Anderson.
“The police and Devin Anderson did an excellent job,” Kortright said. “It was a very challenging case and was hard to prosecute. He said/she said cases are tough.”
“The Whitehall Police and the State Police worked together and it was a good resolution to a tough case.”
The defense argued that Patricia Elmy suffered the injuries when she became drunk and fell.
Brian Breedlove, Elmy’s defense attorney, said Patricia Elmy had made unsubstantiated allegations several years ago, having accused her mother of injuring Patricia’s head.
The mother, who was also married to Elmy, has since died.
Elmy has said he drove Patricia Elmy to the hospital to save her life. He did not testify in the trial and the defense didn’t call any of their witnesses to testify.
Elmy was remanded to Washington County jail pending sentencing on June 8.
Second-degree assault is punishable by up to seven years in jail.
Elmy had been offered a deal that would have required him to plead guilty to a felony, spend a month in jail, and serve five years on probation, but turned the deal down.
Opening arguments were held last Tuesday and the jury handed down the decision Friday afternoon.
It was unclear Monday afternoon if the defense was going to appeal the decision. A message left with Breedlove was not returned.