James Moore walked out of the Ontario County Courthouse as basically a free man, despite having robbed a Canandaigua business at gunpoint.
His freedom — the dismissal of multiple felony counts against him in connection with the Main Street robbery — is part of the chain of events that led to the 55-year sentence of Erin Rhynes, a Geneva gang member found guilty of the attempted murder of Michael Cosentino of Geneva.
Moore, 33, avoided a 15-year prison sentence by operating as a jailhouse snitch in the attempted murder trial of Rhynes — including sharing information about both Rhynes and his attorney. His testimony came in exchange for the dismissal of his first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping and third-degree grand larceny charges. Moore did plead guilty to misdemeanor petit larceny for the armed robbery and kidnapping event last year at the Canandaigua Jewelry and Coin Exchange.
“We move to dismiss the three-count indictment based on the cooperation of this defendant in the Rhynes trial,” said Ontario County Assistant District Attorney Heather Hines.
Moore wasn’t only snitching on Rhynes, but on attorney Andrew Tabashneck, who as a result was himself charged with witness tampering and removed from Rhynes’ case. In that case, in a recorded conversation Moore told Tabashneck that “E” was his boy and he could convince Cosentino to sign an affidavit that would clear his name, despite it being false.
For the Ontario County District Attorney’s office, the balance of justice lies in the sentencing of Rhynes, who placed three bullets into the back of Cosentinos’s head, taking priority over Moore. Moore, during his robbery attempt, took an employee into a back room and physically restrained them while displaying a firearm and stealing cash. A brief manhunt followed the attempted robbery.