A Dolgeville woman accused of a hit-and-run that occurred in the town of Cincinnatus in the summer of 2021 had the start of her jury trial delayed in Cortland County Court on Thursday.
Amber M. Suprunchik, 38, struck two bicyclists with her Jeep Grand Cherokee and fled from the scene on Route 26 in Cincinnatus back on June 15, 2021. One of the bicyclists, Kitt Warren of DeRuyter, was killed. The other bicyclist, John C. Rutan of McGraw, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Following a lengthy investigation, Suprunchik was officially arrested on Oct. 8, 2021.
Police reports noted Suprunchik tampered with her Jeep after the accident. Parts of her vehicle were left at the hit-and-run scene.
Suprunchik originally had her trial by jury scheduled to begin on March 20. Her defense attorney Frank Mellace, however, put in a request on Feb. 15 for a hypoglycemia expert to review Suprunchik’s case and potentially testify at the trial, according to court documents.
Hypoglycemia, a condition in which the blood sugar (glucose) level is lower than the standard range, could be used as psychiatric evidence in Suprunchik’s defense of the hit-and-run accusations, the court documents stated.
County judge Julie Campbell, displeased by Mellace’s request and noted Suprunchik’s case file has gone through “painful contortions” in the past few weeks, said Mellace had almost two years to put an expert aside.
“This doesn’t sit well (with me), and certainly doesn’t sit well with this community who expects the judges will get their cases tried promptly,” Campbell said, noting she doesn’t appreciate last-minute requests.
Mellace mentioned he was unaware that the March 20 trial was the official start date. Campbell, however, noted it’s been set since the early winter months in 2022.
“You could have retained an expert in August of 2021. Let’s not split hairs about that,” Campbell said.
A new date for the start of the trial has not been scheduled yet, but Campbell anticipates the trial will now begin somewhere between June and the fall season.
“That’s a long time,” Campbell said.
Mellace noted the hypoglycemia expert will review Suprunchik’s case and submit a report within two weeks.
Suprunchik is facing multiple charges of leaving the scene of a fatal and injury accident without reporting, criminally negligent homicide and tampering with physical evidence.
Further information on the case remains to be seen. The Cortland Voice will provide more details once they are received.