Former Rochester judge Leticia Astacio found not guilty on gun charge

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A jury in Syracuse has found former Rochester judge Leticia Astacio not guilty on a felony gun charge.

Jurors worked for a second day on Friday to reach a decision in the trial of Astacio.

Astacio was arrested last spring after deputies said she broke the law by trying to buy a shotgun while she was on probation following her drunk driving conviction in 2016.

That conviction, and the events that followed it, led to Astacio being removed from the bench. Deputies said her probation restricted her from owning a gun. But her attorney has argued that the law is imprecise and the language doesn’t strictly prohibit her from owning a shotgun.

Astacio was ultimately denied the sale after visiting two Dick’s Sporting Goods locations in Monroe County.

After a year of hearings, and the case being moved from Henrietta to Syracuse, Astacio’s trial began this week. Thursday afternoon, jurors began deliberations.

Friday morning, deliberations continue with jurors having testimony from Dick’s employees and Astacio’s probation officer being read back.

If convicted, Astacio would have lost her license to practice law. Her sentence could have also sabotaged her chances at Rochester City Council. Astacio filed her petition on Monday to make a bid for a spot on the council.

Under state law, someone who is convicted of a felony while sitting on city council must be removed from office — which was the case for former Councilman Adam McFadden. However, someone convicted of a felony beforehand could still potentially serve.

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