LITTLE VALLEY — A trial date was set Tuesday in Cattaraugus County Court for a Franklinville man charged with attempted murder after he spurned a plea deal and asked for a new attorney.
Craig J. Bubak, 20, was arrested by state police after a May 13 incident when he allegedly fired what authorities called a “ghost gun” at someone from Ischua Creek under the Elm Street bridge.
Bubak was indicted by a Cattaraugus County grand jury on charges of attempted murder, a B felony; second-degree criminal use of a firearm, attempted assault with intent to cause serious injury and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all C felonies; and first-degree reckless endangerment, a D felony.
Bubak is being held in the county jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bail bond.
His assigned attorney, Steven A. Wright, had negotiated a plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office to plead to two felonies and serve six years in state prison, followed by three years’ probation.
Bubak had been offered a six-year sentence in return for pleading guilty to second-degree criminal use of a firearm and first-degree attempted assault.
When state troopers and Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office deputies located Bubak, he was allegedly holding a 9mm polymer-based-style pistol at the Elm Street bridge. After Bubak allegedly failed to comply with orders, the deputies used a Taser to subdue him.
Police said the pistol, which had no serial number, was a so-called ghost gun, the parts of which can be obtained and then assembled into an operable firearm.
The police said their investigation revealed that Bubak allegedly threatened multiple people in the area and then fired one shot at another person, who was not struck.
Bubak told County Court Judge Ronald Ploetz that he had discussed the plea agreement with Wright, but he had questions. The judge adjourned the case so Wright and Bubak could confer privately.
When they returned, Wright said, “I think we have a bit of a problem here, judge.” He indicated his client did not wish to continue with the plea agreement and wanted another attorney.
Bubak told the judge he was concerned about his representation.
Ploetz reminded Bubak that a conviction for attempted murder carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years plus five years’ probation and a conviction of first-degree attempted assault carries a sentence of up to 15 years plus five years’ probation.
That’s up to 40 years in prison and 10 years’ probation, Ploetz told Bubak. If Bubak wants a new attorney, the judge said he would do so, and named Jay D. Carr to represent the defendant.
First Assistant District Attorney Jessica Ungaro said if Bubak was withdrawing from the plea deal, she wouldn’t be able to prepare in time for jury selection set for Jan. 19.
Ploetz set March 14 to begin jury selection in Bubak’s trial.