State Police: Toddler was annoying 13 year old babysitter and "rage took over"

By By GARY LIBERATORE

FLOYD, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Floyd Town Justice has ruled there is enough evidence to hold a 13 year old Whitesboro boy on second-degree murder charges.

Floyd Town Justice Christopher Clarkin made that ruling around 4:40 p.m. On Friday afternoon at a preliminary felony hearing for 13 year old Alex Champagne. Champagne has been charged by Oneida County prosecutors with second-degree murder. Prosecutors say Champagne murdered two year old Melissa Calhoun while he was babysitting her in her Yorkville home the night of Friday, June 18.

One week later, on Friday afternoon, Oneida County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Coluzza questioned New York State Police Investigator Chad Tangorra for over an hour during the preliminary felony hearing. Tangorra was the investigator who questioned Champagne for four hours on Saturday, after finding the lifeless body of Melissa Calhoun Saturday Morning in an upstairs bedroom in the family's home on Ney Avenue in Yorkville.

Investigator Tangorra testified Friday what the 13 year old Champagne told him, both in writing and orally, which was captured on video at the Marcy State Police barracks Saturday afternoon.

Tangorra says Champagne told them that he got irritated that two year old Melissa wanted to play in the living room and he didn't, so he "popped her in the mouth," and "rage took over."

Police say that after slapping her, Champagne said he shoved Melissa, causing her to hit her head on the floor. Tangorra says Champagne told them he also hit the little girl in the kitchen with the refrigerator door, causing her to fall and hit her head, this time on the kitchen table.

Also, when the two were playing upstairs on Melissa'a mother's bed, Tangorra says Champagne told them she was holding what he described as his "wife beater," his white sleeveless tank top, but he intentionally moved back, causing her to lose her grip and thus fall again, this time hitting her head on a stand.

Finally, Tangorra said Champagne admitted he sexually assaulted Melissa with his finger 15 times, causing her to bleed.

Champagne's attorney Richard Bach questioned Investigator Tangorra as to why Alec nor his mother, who was at the barracks, were told the interview was going to recorded on video.

Despite that, in the end, Floyd Town Justice Christopher Clarkin ruled there was enough evidence to hold 13 year old Alec Champagne on second-degree murder.

An Oneida County grand jury will now hear the case within the next 30 days and decide whether to indict him on that charge.

If indicted, he will be tried in Oneida County criminal court, not family court.

The parents of Melissa Calhoun were not in court Friday. A family friend said me it was too much for them to be there.

The parents of Alec Champagne were in court, his mother was sobbing repeated through the proceeding.

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