Lanza Irked At Arrest Procedure

FULTON, NY – As 27-year-old Alan Jones was escorted from the state police barracks on his way to Oswego County Court Tuesday, he had little to say.

Asked why he was there, Jones replied, “I don’t know. They won’t tell me the charges.”

<p>Alan Jones returns to the state police barracks for processing after his arraignment in Oswego County Court.</p>
Alan Jones returns to the state police barracks for processing after his arraignment in Oswego County Court.

Shortly thereafter, Jones was arraigned in court on a charge of second-degree murder for allegedly causing the death of his step-sister, 11-year-old Erin Maxwell.

Jones was at home with Erin Aug. 29 and called 911. Attorney Salvatore Lanza, who represents Erin‘s family members, explained during a press conference Sept. 26 that Jones found the child hanging with a cord around her neck that was attached to a screw above her window sill.

Erin died early the next morning at University Hospital. The Onondaga County Medical Examiner ruled that she died as the result of asphyxia that was caused by another person. During the press conference, Lanza said the family maintains her death was a tragic accident.

Erin’s father, Lindsey Maxwell, and step-mother, Lynn Maxwell, were also arrested Tuesday and each charged with six counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Lanza said Tuesday that police made no attempt to contact him regarding his clients’ arrests.

“This is how it works in Oswego County and only in Oswego County,” Lanza said. “Everyone and their mother, sister, cousin and next door neighbor was contacted except me.”

Lanza said he learned that his clients were being arrested at 8:30 a.m. while listening to the radio.

“The police told everyone but no one could pick up a phone to call the defense attorney,” he said.

“I find it appalling,” Lanza added. “They knew my clients had counsel and arraignment is a critical part of the court process. Everyone knew they were being arrested except me.

“But it is par for the course,” Lanza said. “They had their show on television. … We will see what the judge has to say about this in court (Wednesday) morning.”

Jones is slated to appear in Oswego County Court at 9 a.m.