'Save Anthony' signs are popping up left and right in Otsego County

By GARY LIBERATORE

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - It looks a little like election time in Cooperstown. There are signs out on lawns left and right, only the signs aren't urging people to vote for someone, but rather to try and save someone from going to state prison.

The signs say 'Save Anthony', as in Anthony Pacherille.

He's the Cooperstown High School student accused of chasing down and shooting fellow 16 year old classmate Wesley Lippitt inside the Cooperstown Police Station on April 2, 2010.

Pacherille's father, Tony Pacherille has quit his job to focus solely on his son's case, and has printed hundreds of the 'Save Anthony' signs and is asking people to put them up. Pacherille is charged with attempted murder as a hate crime. Pacherille is white, Lippitt is black.

We tried to contact Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl on Friday regarding the impact of the signs on potential jurors, but was told he was in court, and as of this writing, we have not heard from him.

The elder Pacherille says the key to the 'Save Anthony' signs is that they also mention the website, www.pacherille.com, where he says people can learn more about his son, like how exceptional a student he was, how he loved to play the piano, and that he is not a racist as people are making him out to be.

Pacherille says his son had an African-American girlfriend at one point and his best friend is Hispanic. He says his son is mentally ill and that is what caused him to do what he did last April. He says four doctors have seen his son while in the Otsego County Jail and he says all agree his son is mentally ill and that he should be put in a mental institution, rather than state prison.

Tony Pacherille says he is trying to educate people about his son, but these very people may be the ones sitting on his son's jury. He says he doesn't believe a change of venue will take place out of Otsego County, but he says if there's a change of venue in the case, he will do the same thing in whatever county the case is transferred to.

The trial is expected to begin the week of May 23.

What's On