Schenectady County

Man gets 8 years in Schenectady invasion, stabbing

James Tedeschi was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for his role in a Jan. 26 attack that l

Since the bloody January 2011 home invasion in which he and two others were stabbed, Anthony Nieves told a court Friday that he experiences frequent flashbacks and anxiety over the attack.

He continuously worries about his own safety and the safety of his family.

“It is not easy trying to convince my family that everything is OK when I am constantly looking over my shoulder wherever I go because I don’t know if I am being followed by someone they know,” Nieves wrote in a statement read in court by a victim advocate.

His statement was read at the sentencing for one of the two men who carried out the Jan. 26, 2011, attack, James Tedeschi. The second man, 32-year-old Luvadollar Godallah, was sentenced last month to 24 years to life, a sentence that reflected his criminal history.

Tedeschi received eight years in state prison, a sentence within a small range allowed under the agreement for him to plead guilty to first-degree attempted burglary. Tedeschi testified against Godallah at his trial.

Nieves was the boyfriend of Melissa Columbus, 24, one of the other victims. Columbus’ young son was also in the home, but he was not injured. Godallah was accused of threatening to harm the child if Columbus didn’t comply with his demands. Also injured was Columbus’ brother, Brad Columbus, 25.

Prosecutors say Godallah and Tedeschi invaded the home looking to get drugs and money.

Nieves suffered stab wounds in the back, head and wrist.

In his statement to the court, Nieves recalled encountering Tedeschi that morning.

“In attempting to protect my family, I sustained injuries to my body that no human should have to endure,” Nieves wrote before outlining his injuries. “As if those injuries weren’t enough, Mr. Tedeschi felt the need to continue to kick me in my ribs while I lay bleeding on the floor and then my 2-year-old son watched in horror.”

Prosecutor Ed Moynihan, in his own comments, noted that Tedeschi was cooperative after his arrest. But he also reminded Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago of the ordeal the victims went through. Moynihan recommended a sentence of eight years.

“This was a home invasion involving a triple stabbing,” he said.

Tedeschi’s attorney Sven Paul said his client was “very mindful” of the trauma the event caused. He can’t take it back, but he has assumed responsibility, Paul said.

He also said he’s seen Tedeschi make “tremendous strides” since his arrest.

Tedeschi had been out on bail.

Tedeschi, in his own comments, simply said he wanted to apologize to those involved and thanked the court for its time.

Drago called it a very violent crime.

She presided over the Godallah trial. She said she came away from the trial with a reminder of the violence that can happen at homes where marijuana is being sold. She said she it also serves as a reminder of what happens to someone under the influence of drugs and alcohol, like Tedeschi was.

Drago said Tedeschi has a serious addiction problem but said that doesn’t alleviate him of culpability in the matter.

Regardless of that, the judge said, “you participated in a triple stabbing and that violence was only exacerbated by the fact that there was a 2-year-old child there.”

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