A No-Show, a Wedding, a Last Day on the Bench

       East Hampton Town Court was quieter than usual last Thursday as Justice Catherine A. Cahill completed her final day on the bench. A thin court calendar was made even thinner by the non-appearance of Shanika Dunmore, who was to have been sentenced to two months in county jail as part of a plea bargain between her Legal Aid Society lawyer and the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

       “The defendant is in custody,” Maggie Bopp, an assistant district attorney, told Justice Cahill, reporting that Ms. Dunmore had been arrested the night before on new charges. Ms. Bopp did not have all the details, but told the court the charges included petit larceny and aggravated unlicensed driving.

       “That may have been a very creative way not to spend Christmas in jail,” Justice Cahill remarked, as she put the woman’s sentencing off to Jan. 2.

       Ms. Dunmore also faces at least five criminal charges in District Court in Central Islip, stemming from previous arrests. She was originally scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 12 by Justice Lisa R. Rana, but she asked for a week’s postponement, saying she had to attend a funeral.

       As last Thursday’s session wound down, a defendant, Jacobo Deleon-Ortiz, told the court he could not afford to pay his several fines, the oldest of which dated to 2005. Justice Cahill set a new court date of Feb. 13.

       “If you haven’t done anything by then, bring your toothbrush,” she warned him. “I’m not going to be here. It’s going to be him.” She pointed to Steven Tekulsky, sitting next to her on the bench as he has done since his election last month as her replacement.

       “He is way meaner than I am,” she said with a smile.

       Her final criminal calendar concluded, Justice Cahill ended her day on a happier note, performing a wedding between two Montauk residents, Jacob Bacon, 30, and Yuliya Vainilovich, 24. Even though she will be retired from the bench as of Jan. 2, she can continue to perform weddings, and she indicated that she would.


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