OSWEGO — Robert F. Moshier, sentenced to state prison in 2014 for killing his wife, will this week face a parole board expected to render judgment on if the former Oswego man is fit to rejoin society.
Oswego County Sheriff’s Office investigators responded to the Moshiers’ Siembor Drive home the night of Aug. 14, 2013, where they found an unresponsive Theresa Moshier and a “very polite” and “very calm” Robert Moshier, according to court records. At trial, a sheriff’s deputy testified Moshier confessed that he “put (Theresa Moshier) in a chokehold and doesn't know his own strength.”
Robert Moshier pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault on Feb. 26, 2014, and was given a sentence of five to 15 years. As a condition of his plea, Moshier acknowledged his actions caused the injuries that resulted in his wife’s death, but he claimed he did not intend to kill her.
According to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), Moshier is scheduled for a parole hearing this week. Moshier became eligible for parole in 2019, but did not secure release at that time. He is currently incarcerated at Cayuga Correctional Facility in Moravia. After the hearing is conducted, the parole board will have two weeks to make a decision.
At the time of his sentencing, an attorney for Moshier said his client “wants to get on with his life and get the imprisonment behind him.” For the family of Theresa Moshier, it won’t be that easy.
Theresa Moshier was a volunteer for the Oswego Town Fire Department, an emergency medical technician for Oswego County Ambulance and working her way up the ranks through 25 years of service at the Pontiac Care and Rehab Center — one of her two jobs to provide for her husband and children.
Chris Harrington told The Palladium-Times Tuesday his sister was a genuine person stuck in a relationship that was a ticking time bomb.
“Anytime she could help anyone, let alone her family, she did so — sometimes to her own peril,” Harrington said. “She would give her last dollar to anybody. She was a really kind person that just wanted to be happy like everyone else.”
The Moshiers reportedly had paused divorce proceedings earlier in the summer after a separation, but a bitter argument the night of Aug. 14 turned violent.
Robert choked her — he said to “restrain her,” according to court records.
Harrington, now living in California, believed during the relationship that his sister’s life was in danger.
“I said ‘He’s going to kill you one of these days,’” Harrington said. “I always told her that. [Robert Moshier] is not a stable person.”
When Harrington got the dreaded phone call in 2013 with the news of his sister’s death, he was stunned despite his premonitions.
“She’d been killed and that it was him,” Harrington recalls being told. “I just couldn’t believe what I had foreshadowed earlier had come true.”
Harrington said he spoke with members of the parole board over the phone on May 4.
“I thought it was a joke,” Harrington said. “Five to 15 years for murder? They pleaded it down to manslaughter because he was willing to take a plea deal. To think that someone could get out for killing somebody after six or seven years right now? That’s obscene.”
Harrington still thinks of Theresa. He comes to Oswego County to visit when he can, but it’s emotionally challenging.
“She was always one of those people who was looking toward the next step and trying to better herself,” Harrington said.
Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes was the county’s top prosecutor in 2013 and 2014 when the Moshier case was being investigated and said this week Theresa Moshier’s death was a “tragedy.”
“She served our community and tried to save lives, and hers ended far too soon,” Oakes told The Palladium-Times Tuesday. “I hope that the parole board’s decision is based solely upon the facts of this case and whether justice is served by Mr. Moshier’s release. Outside factors, such as the threat of coronavirus in prisons, should not be considered.”