The second of two men accused of attempting to rob a Glenville bank — without ever entering the bank — was sentenced Wednesday to 3 1⁄2 years in state prison.
Jackeem Garris, 24, of Broadway, Schenectady, appeared before Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago to receive his sentence. The judge also underlined the seriousness of the offense.
“What you did that day, or what you attempted to do that day, I should say, certainly put an awful lot of lives in very serious danger,” she told Garris. “It was a blessing that your acts got thwarted the way they did by the Glenville Police Department.”
Garris admitted earlier that he and another man attempted to rob the Bank of America on Route 50 on May 27, 2010. The second man, Nowratan Persaud, 18, was sentenced in January to one to three years in state prison. Persaud also received youthful offender status.
Both pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. The two never set foot inside the bank. Instead, alert bank employees spotted the two standing outside in clothing inappropriate for the weather, wearing bandanas and rubber gloves.
Police found them shortly after with pellet guns that looked like real semiautomatic handguns. They also had a knife and “flex cuffs,” police said.
Garris was originally to receive four years in state prison, but prosecutor Ed Moynihan and defense attorney Joseph Litz agreed to drop that to 31⁄2 years. Litz later said that was due in part to the sentence Persaud received.
Litz also attempted to assure the court that the case has made a “monumental impact” on Garris. He also has a newborn baby that is a priority for him now, Litz said, and wants to put the case behind him. Drago said she hopes the birth of Garris’ child is a turning point for him.
The judge also noted some dispute over whose idea the robbery was. Regardless, she said, they were both there to rob the bank.
“In this court’s estimation, that was a very serious crime,” Drago said, noting employees, and possibly patrons, were there, as well.
“I don’t know what you were thinking that day,” Drago said, “I just hope you’ve learned from your mistake.”