Felon Accused in Torah Extortion Scheme Faces New Legal Woes
A Sullivan County man who was previously accused of stealing a torah in an extortion plot and dismembering a body of a man he killed faces new legal trouble.
Charles Shortridge, 52, of Liberty was the passenger in a car reported to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) as a suspicious vehicle on Saturday at 5PM. Deputy Joseph Calvello located the car that had reportedly been parked in a driveway Dillon Farm Road in the Town of Thompson.
Calvello stopped the car shortly after it left the scene and observed Shortridge throwing his ID away when he approached the car, according to a press release from the SCSO. Shortridge allegedly provided Calvello with a false name, but the deputy identified him and further investigation revealed Shortridge was wanted on a parole warrant.
Shortridge has a checkered past. In 1982, Shortridge was convicted of manslaughter in Oneida County ; he was accused of dismembering the victim's body in that case.
In 2012, Shortridge was implicated in an extortion scheme involving a Torah stolen from the Landfield Avenue Synagogue in Monticello. Shortridge has filed a lawsuit against the synagogue claiming possible exposure to asbestos during the time he performed maintenance work there, according to the SCSO.
Shortridge was paroled in September after serving a jail sentence on a forgery charge.
Shortridge was charged as a parole absconder and with false personification, a misdemeanor. He was arraigned before Town of Thompson Judge Sharon Jankiewicz and sent to the Sullivan County Jail without bail.