After a five-day jury trial in Schenectady County Court, Jason Hooks (also known as Shaquan Riker) was convicted of the Class D violent felony of Assault in the second degree, for a crime of domestic violence that occurred in the City of Schenectady on October 30, 2021. The jury also acquitted Mr. Hooks of the Class A misdemeanor of Criminal Mischief in the fourth degree for allegedly preventing the victim from placing a 911 call for assistance. Acting County Court Judge Mark J. Caruso presided over the trial, at which the People were represented by the Special Victim’s Bureau Chief Assistant District Attorney John Carson and the defendant was represented by attorney Mark Juda.
The incident took place during the early morning hours of October 30, 2021, while Mr. Hooks was sitting in a vehicle with his then girlfriend. The proof showed that Mr. Hooks became enraged at his girlfriend and repeatedly smashed her in the face with a travel coffee mug. She suffered a broken nose, a hemorrhage to her right eye, bruising, a black eye, broken fingernails, and lost a substantial amount of blood. The victim disclosed the assault to members of the Schenectady Police Department on November 1, 2021, two days later. The victim’s account was corroborated by photos taken both by the police and herself documenting her physical condition, together with the condition of her blood-stained car, medical records from Ellis Medicine and text messages from the defendant. Mr. Hooks testified on his own behalf, stating that he accidentally spilled coffee on his lap and flipped the travel mug in her direction which caused her injuries. By its guilty verdict, the jury rejected his version, finding instead that he had intentionally caused her physical injury with a dangerous instrument after deliberating for just over one hour.
Based upon his prior criminal history, Mr. Hooks faces a minimum of three (3) years in prison and a maximum of seven (7) years for this conviction. Much of his criminal history reveals a pattern of domestic violence with intimate partners. Because of that history, Mr. Hooks was identified by the Schenectady County High Risk Domestic Violence Team as an individual to be monitored. The High Risk Team is chaired by the YWCA of Schenectady and includes members of local police departments, Schenectady County Office of Probation, and the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office. It is the mission of the High Risk Team to identify and track perpetrators of domestic violence who are most likely to commit violent acts against intimate partners.
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney stated: “We thank the victim in this case for cooperating with our office to secure this conviction. We know it wasn’t easy for her to relive this traumatic event, but she performed an important service to the community by doing so. Even though their relationship is over, Mr. Hooks has shown through his history that he will continue to perpetrate domestic violence against intimate partners. By sharing her own experience with him, she has protected his future victims from harm. It was brave of her to do so.”
After the jury’s verdict, Judge Caruso revoked Mr. Hooks’ bail and he was remanded to the Schenectady County Correctional Facility to await his sentence on January 3, 2023. For further information, contact ADA John J. Carson at (518)810-7365.