A Tupper Lake Woman Who Has Been Charged With Murder Has Pleaded Not Guilty

TUPPER LAKE — A Franklin County grand jury charged a woman from Tupper Lake with murder last month. The woman has pleaded not guilty, and a trial in county court is still to come.

Alexa J. Gallagher, 26, of Tupper Lake, is accused of killing her mother, Melissa A. Guiswhite, 51, in July. This is a crime called second-degree murder.

The person in charge of the case, Franklin County District Attorney Jonathan Miller, said on Wednesday that Gallagher was charged on Oct. 27 and arraigned in county court on Nov. 10. He said that she was jailed without bail and is being kept in the Franklin County Jail in Malone.

He said that the case is no longer in the local court and is now being tried in the county court. The point is still being looked into, and there is no set a date for the trial.

Attorney Peter Dumas is working for Gallagher. Judge Derek Champagne of Franklin County is in charge of the case. Dumas didn’t answer our request for comment by Thursday, when it was due.

Miller said Champagne gave the defence until Dec. 25 to file motions to challenge parts of the case or ask how it should go forward.

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On July 28, around 1 p.m., police from Tupper Lake village and the New York State Police went to 50 Lakeview Ave., where State Police say they found Guisewhite dead.

Michael Sikirica, a medical examiner at Glens Falls Hospital, did an autopsy on Guisewhite and found that he died from a stabbing. He said it was a murder.

State Police said Gallagher ran away on foot after the murder. State Police found her and forest rangers from the state Department of Environmental Conservation in an empty house nearby. She was arrested “without incident” and taken to the State Police barracks in Tupper Lake to be questioned.

Guisewhite, Gallagher, and Guisewhite’s husband, Mark, moved to Tupper Lake in 2017 from Pennsylvania.

Guisewhite’s friends remembered her as “a great friend” who comforted others in hard times and as a “delightful” hiking partner who “would give you the shirt off her back.” Guisewhite took care of old people as a caregiver.

State law says that second-degree murder is when someone intentionally kills someone else.

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