WENY News - UPDATE: Man involved in fatal Horseheads accident charged with f

UPDATE: Man involved in fatal Horseheads accident charged with four counts

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UPDATE (11:30 a.m.) Charnetski's attorney, Ray Schlather, said he is considering asking for a bench trial, meaning the case would be heard by just a judge and not a jury.

"The important thing to emphasize is this was an accident, a tragic accident. Caden is prepared to accept responsibility for whatever he did or didn't do, however he is not guilty of manslaughter," said Schlather.

If Charnetski is found guilty, he could face a maximum of 15 years in prison on the first-degree vehicular manslaughter charge, up to seven years in prison for each second-degree vehicular manslaughter charge and up to a year for driving while his ability was impaired by drugs, according to Wetmore. 

But, Wetmore adds Charnetski is still eligible to be adjudicated as a youth offender. If granted the status, Wetmore says Charnetski would spend a maximum of just four years in prison. 

Wetmore also expressed his doubts regarding Charnetski being willing to accept responsibility for causing the accident since the 19-year-old pleaded not guilty.

"The crime is he operated under the influence and as a result, caused an accident and caused the death of more than one person," Wetmore said. "If it's not that crime, what is he accepting responsibility for?"

Chemung County Judge Richard W. Rich Jr. released Charnetski on his own recognizance pending further court action. Attorneys will meet with Rich next week to determine where the case will go from here.

UPDATE (10:45 a.m.) WENY News has received Charnetski's indictment. 

According to the indictment, Charnetski was allegedly impaired due to marijuana use when he hit and killed the Mattesons. 

Charnetski is being charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in the 1st Degree for being involved in the death of two people. 

He is also being charged with two counts of Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree for the deaths of Harolyn and Matthew Matteson, respectively. 

Additionally, Charnetski is being charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs. 

Charnetski is currently out on bail. 

HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- 19-year-old Caden Charnetski is facing his arraignment in Chemung County Court  today after being charged with hitting and killing Harolyn and Matthew Matteson in Horseheads back in July 2018. 

According to WENY's reporter in the court, Charnetski has pleaded not guilty to four counts. While the counts were not read aloud one by one, the top charge is Vehicular Manslaughter. WENY News will work to learn the other three charges. 

Yesterday, the Star Gazette reported Chemung County DA Weeden Wetmore said they would likely be pursuing DWAI and Vehicular Manslaughter charges against Charnetski. 

Charnetski was also ordered to surrender his driver's license and passport. 

He is being represented by Attorney Raymond Schlather, who represented Thomas Clayton in 2017 while Clayton was on trial for the murder of his wife.

The Matteson family is being represented by Christina Sonsire. 

This is a developing story. WENY News will provide updates as we receive them. 

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