KINGSTON – An inmate at the Eastern Correctional Facility in Napanoch was found guilty by an Ulster County Court jury in Kingston of throwing urine at a corrections officer, hitting him in the face, his pants and shirt.
Eschell Ashcroft, 49, was convicted on Friday of aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate. When sentenced in May, he faces a potential sentence of 2 ½ to five years in prison.
The incident was captured on video surveillance. Several corrections
officers testified at trial, including the officer who was struck by the
urine, along with a serologist from the State Police crime lab, who testified
the substance thrown at the officer tested positive for urine.
During the trial, Ashcroft denied throwing anything at the officer and alleged the case was a set up by the state Department of Corrections. The defense hired a DNA expert from Ohio for $5,000, who said Ashcroft was not a major contributor to DNA found on the officer’s shirt and that there was DNA that has an insufficient amount of DNA to develop a profile.
New York case law prevented the jury from hearing that Ashcroft was convicted in 2005 for throwing feces on a corrections officer while he was confined at the state’s Sullivan Correctional Facility. In addition to his conviction for that crime, Ashcroft’s criminal history consists of two convictions for attempted robbery, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling crack cocaine.