PLATTSBURGH — A 12-member jury found Edward Dashnaw guilty of first-degree murder Monday for the December 2005 stabbing deaths of David and Lorraine Donivan.After nearly three months of trial and almost three days of jury deliberations, Dashnaw was declared guilty at about 4:20 p.m. on multiple charges in connection with the Schuyler Falls couple's deaths.He showed no reaction when the verdict was read and was promptly escorted from the courthouse.Family and friends of the Donivans held hands while the verdict was read and were visibly relieved when the jury forewoman announced the guilty verdicts.The 38-year-old Plattsburgh man faced an 11-count indictment in connection with the murders: two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, three counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.Dashnaw was convicted of everything except second-degree murder. That charge was included in the indictment for the jury's consideration as a lesser inclusive charge of first-degree murder, which means he could not be convicted of both.
The larceny and stolen-property charges were in connection with Dashnaw possessing items that belonged to the Donivans, including their 2004 Toyota Tundra truck, credit card, personal benefit cards, garage-door openers and several items that were fraudulently purchased from the Donivans' credit card after their deaths.The forged-instrument charges stemmed from Dashnaw's possession and use of fraudulent checks that were drawn from Mr. Donivan's accounts after his death.Both checks contained forged signatures of Mr. Donivan, whose body was found wrapped in a piece of carpet in the basement of his ranch-style home Dec. 29, 2005.Two days later, authorities discovered Mrs. Donivan's body hidden in their House of Pine and Oak furniture-warehouse loft.During the lengthy trial, which began in early January, District Attorney Andrew Wylie and Chief Assistant District Attorney Kristy Sprague presented more than 70 prosecution witnesses and introduced an array of evidence, including DNA analysis, photos and first-person accounts of suspicious events that linked Dashnaw to the violent crime and stolen items.
After the proceeding, Wylie said his office will seek a sentence of life without parole and indicated Dashnaw will likely be sentenced as a persistent felony offender after having two prior felony convictions in New York.Wylie thanked all law-enforcement agencies and personnel involved in the investigation, especially investigators from the New York State Police Troop B Violent Crimes Investigation Team and the Forensic Investigation Unit.He said their hard work securing the evidence and the crime scenes helped clinch the guilty verdict, noting that the verdict really "falls on the DNA evidence."Dashnaw's attorneys, Stephen Johnston and Mark Kennedy, declined to comment on the verdict.The seven female and five male jurors wouldn't talk about the case afterward, but Sprague later said they told her "they knew that they made the right decision" after witnessing Dashnaw's lack of remorse or reaction as the verdict was read.Judge Patrick McGill presided over the crowded Clinton County courtroom and will schedule Dashnaw's sentencing.