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Mary Rain (right) announces her candidacy at the St. Lawrence County courthouse in Canton. Joining her is Tandy Cyrus, whose son, Garrett Phillips, was murdered in 2011. The crime is still unsolved. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Mary Rain (right) announces her candidacy at the St. Lawrence County courthouse in Canton. Joining her is Tandy Cyrus, whose son, Garrett Phillips, was murdered in 2011. The crime is still unsolved. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Republican DA hopeful launches sharp attacks early

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The race for St. Lawrence County District Attorney is on. And yesterday the challenger came out swinging. Republican Mary Rain attacked two-term incumbent Nicole Duvé for failing to bring criminals to trial. David Sommerstein reports.

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Mary Rain began her career as a police officer in 1984. She was a prosecutor for more than a decade. From 2009 to 2011, she ran St. Lawrence County’s Public Defender office.

Flanked by supporters on the county courthouse steps in Canton yesterday, Rain accused Democratic District Attorney Nicole Duvé of being “disorganized” and “ineffective” while allowing criminal cases to pile up.

Felonies languish in her office and they get dismissed before they’re even out of the courtroom. We need to take the felonies, put them on a fast track where witnesses’ memories are fresh, police officers’ memories are fresh, and the victims are able to explain their story in court effectively.

A victim of one of the county’s highest profile crimes stood next Rain. Tandy Cyrus lost her 12 year-old son, Garrett Phillips, when he was murdered two years ago. The crime still hasn’t been solved. No charges have been made.

Cyrus remained silent throughout the press conference and delcined to answer questions.

Rain slammed Duvé for not making progress on the case. She said the DA’s office has circumstantial evidence regarding the murder. But Rain stopped short of saying that she would have brought that case to a grand jury if she were the DA.

Duvé’s office has struggled to retain attorneys over the years, facing heavy workloads. Two years ago, Duvé reported a backlog of more than 9,000 pending cases.

Rain struggled with a similar issue as Public Defender. When she resigned in 2011, she told the Watertown Daily Times she had an overwhelming caseload, saying “I’ve been treading water.”

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