Schenectady County

Slasher gets 10 years at long-delayed sentencing

The long-delayed sentencing of a man convicted in a 2010 box cutter attack took place Wednesday, wit

The long-delayed sentencing of a man convicted in a 2010 box cutter attack took place Wednesday, with the slasher getting 10 years in state prison.

William Robinson, 37, had sought a new trial based on new testimony. But acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino formally rejected that request Wednesday, finding the possible new testimony wasn’t enough to meet the burden needed to order a new trial.

Giardino then proceeded to the long-delayed sentencing, giving Robinson far less than the potential maximum, 25 years. Prosecutor John Healy asked for 12 years.

Before the sentence was imposed, Robinson told the court that what happened was an “unfortunate incident,” one where he wasn’t the attacker, he was defending himself.

“I’m not a bad person,” Robinson told the court. “The situation happened and I was found guilty of something where I defended myself.”

Healy noted later that the jury rejected Robinson’s self-defense argument at trial.

A Schenectady County Court jury in September 2010 found Robinson guilty in the slashing of Richard Garcia on Jan. 17, 2010, at the corner of Albany Street and Kelton Avenue. Garcia’s wound required 36 stitches.

But Robinson’s case had been in limbo since that November, when he asked Giardino to set aside the verdict based on what the defense claimed was new evidence: one or two new witnesses who said the victim had told them he’d been the aggressor. One has since recanted.

The delays were caused over troubles getting witnesses freed up to testify and in Robinson changing attorneys. After holding hearings previously, Giardino ruled Wednesday that whatever the new testimony, it wasn’t enough to order a new trial.

Robinson can appeal.

Giardino indicated that he didn’t believe Robinson went out looking for trouble that night. But he did believe there was sufficient evidence for the jury to return a guilty verdict.

Of note, Giardino cited evidence from the trial where Robinson was heard on a jailhouse phone recording suggesting different scenarios for a defense. Robinson’s then-defense attorney, Steve Kouray, argued it was simply his client trying to reassure his girlfriend.

Robinson’s attorney for the sentencing, Michael Meenan of Long Island, indicated an appeal of the verdict and ruling was expected.

Meenan also noted to the court that several of Robinson’s family and friends were in the courtroom to support him. One member of the group left to compose herself after Healy gave his sentencing recommendation.

Robinson had remained in custody as the sentencing continued to be delayed.

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