BRANT — Shaun Humphrey, a town of Brant man who maintained a standoff with local police agencies for eight hours on Dec. 3, appeared in the town of Eden Court on Dec. 9 for a possible felony hearing in connection with that armed standoff, which included shots fired.
Police were called to Humphrey’s home, in which he was barricaded and threatening to harm himself and others with a gun. Humphrey, who said that he was upset about a child custody dispute, has been charged with several felony counts, including attempted assault to a police officer, after an eight-hour standoff with police.
Humphrey, 42, was represented by defense counsel Paul Michalek Jr. In court, after discussions between Humphrey and Michalek and then between Michalek and Assistant District Attorney James Marra, Humphrey waived his right to a felony hearing, thus consenting to have his case proceed directly to an Erie County grand jury.
Humphrey remains in the Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $25,000 bail, which was originally set by Justice Michael Cooper on the morning of Dec. 4, after Humphrey surrendered to police, outside his home. At that time, Cooper had also ordered a forensic mental health examination of Humphrey.
Personnel from the New York State Police, Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the Seneca Nation of Indians responded to the call. According to the state police, “The barricaded subject ... had made threats to harm himself and others.”
At approximately 11 p.m. on Dec. 3, police officers arrived at the subject’s home and set up a perimeter around the house. Crisis negotiators were called to the scene, in an effort to talk Humphrey into surrendering.
Contact was made and discussions began; negotiators were able to engage Humphrey in several short conversations. As discussions broke off at about 2:15 a.m., police reported that “Humphrey exited the residence onto his porch with a weapon and fired several shots in the direction of police.” He then re-entered his residence.
Police could not engage Humphrey in any further discussion. According to police, a few hours later, “state police special operations response team members mobilized and breached the front door. Humphrey then surrendered, without further incident.”
Humphrey has been charged with attempted assault on a police officer, a class C felony, as well as reckless endangerment in the first-degree (D felony), criminal possession of a firearm (E felony) and menacing (a misdemeanor).
During his court appearance, Humphrey indicated that he understood the nature of the proceedings against him. The court officer next asked the attorneys how they wanted to proceed; Michalek said that his client would “waive his right to a felony hearing.” The court then asked Humphrey if that was what he wanted to do, to which he replied, “Yes, sir.”
At least five police officers from the various law enforcement agencies were on hand to testify, in the event the matter proceeded to a hearing.
Humphrey’s bail was continued as originally set, at $25,000, pending a possible bail application by Michalek, in superior court.
After the appearance, Michalek said that he had met his client for the first time, at court. He said that Humphrey “was more interested in the proceedings here in Eden tonight” than farther down the road.
Michalek added that he had not gotten into his client’s case in any detail; “we can do that now that the preliminary appearance is done.”
Humphrey’s daughter was in the courtroom and said that she was “here for [her] father.” She would not discuss any family details.
The matter will now be referred to an Erie County grand jury, within the next 45 days. If Humphrey is indicted, the matter will then be dismissed in town court and sent to a superior trial court.