Opening arguments in trial of a Midstate Corrections Officer are set for Tuesday morning

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - 51 year old Michael Wehby had been a New York State Corrections Officer for more than 23 years, when prosecutors say he assaulted 45 year old Jose Rivera in the dining hall at the Midstate Correctional Facility around 7:30 in the morning on January 15, 2010, resulting in Rivera suffering head injuries.

This case is two and a half years old, mainly because after it happened, Wehby was suspended from his job pending an internal arbitration investigation. After a year, the arbitrator decided to allow Wehby to return to work, and that's when the authorities charged Wehby with assault.

Jury selection began just after 10 a.m. On Monday morning in Wehby's assault trial, and a jury wasn't seated until just after 4 p.m., so opening arguments are set for first thing Tuesday morning.

Wehby, from Frankfort is charged with second-degree assault, second-degree attempted assault and third-degree assault.

Among the pool of 70 jurors questioned, 25 of them had some connection with one of the local state prisons, so each of those 25 were questioned individually by Judge Michael Dwyer.

The defense is expected to argue that Rivera came at Wehby first and Rivera was injured while Wehby was trying to get him under control.

Wehby, who is also a part time police officer in the Town of Frankfort, has been suspended from that position, as well as his correction's officer position, pending the outcome of this case.

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