Grim details emerge in Geneva murder case

Two Geneva men facing attempted murder charges in the shooting of Michael Cosentino appeared alongside their attorneys Thursday in an evidentiary hearing where grim details emerged.

Erin Rhynes and Timitheus Merritt appeared in front of Ontario County Court Judge Craig Doran as First Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride called multiple law enforcement officers to testify about the process in which evidentiary matters were obtained as the cases near a trial date.

“I took it as a dying declaration,” said former City of Geneva Detective and now Court Liason Officer Bryan Choffin, who spoke to the victim. “I was told he had a 10 percent chance of survival.”

According to Choffin, Cosentino identified “E” as the man who shot him in the back of the head. Investigators allege that “E” is actually Erin Rhynes.

Choffin also stated that Rhynes and co-defendant Merritt were partners in a cocaine drug-dealing operation.

Initially, first responders thought the injuries from the April 1, 2018 incident were the result of a Lewis Street car crash. Only after Cosentino was transported to the hospital and the blood was cleaned up did they discover two bullets lodged in his brain.

Choffin stated that Cosentino had drug addiction issues and owed the alleged dealer money, and that the dealer at one point showed up to his workplace threatening to kill him.

Surveillance video from the City of Geneva showed a man investigators believe is Rhynes fleeing from the vehicle at the scene of the accident.

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