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Bail denied for teen babysitter accused of assault and murder of two-year old
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The teenager accused of physically and sexually assaulting a child he was babysitting has been denied bail.
Alec Champagne, 13, of Whitesboro, 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, Oneida County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Coluzza questioned New York State Police Investigator Chad Tangorra for over an hour during the preliminary felony hearing in Town of Floyd Court. Tangorra was the investigator who questioned Champagne for four hours on Saturday, after finding the lifeless body of Melissa Calhoun on Saturday, June 19 in an upstairs bedroom in the family's home on Ney Avenue in Yorkville.
Investigator Tangorra testified during the felony hearing as to 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.
Champagne's attorney, Richard Bach made an application for bail. On Friday, July 2, that bail application was denied by Oneida County Court Judge Michael Dwyer.
An Oneida County grand jury will now hear the case and decide whether to indict Champagne on that charge. If indicted, he will be tried in Oneida County criminal court, not family court.
Champagne is currently being held at Hillbrook Juvenile Detention Facility in Syracuse.