Schenectady County

Man who skipped Schenectady court date and fled cops gets 8 years

A man accused of leading police on a lengthy chase in December — two months after he was to turn him
Ramel L. Gentry
Ramel L. Gentry

A man accused of leading police on a lengthy chase in December — two months after he was to turn himself in for a drug case — saw both his cases wrapped up this week, attorneys said.

Ramel L. Gentry, 27, is to serve a total of eight years in prison for both cases, attorneys said.

The bulk of the sentence stems from an underlying drug case. Gentry had failed to show up for his sentencing on Oct. 26 for attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance when he fled from police on Dec. 4.

Gentry led police on a chase from Schenectady into Niskayuna and Colonie, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph before police lost him. Police finally caught up with him a month later at a residence on Helderberg Avenue.

Gentry previously had pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree attempted sale of cocaine, and remained free pending sentencing. In exchange for his plea, Gentry, who had a previous felony conviction, was to receive five years in prison.

When he failed to show up for sentencing, Judge James Murphy issued a warrant for his arrest. Failing to show up also put Gentry at risk for the maximum sentence under his plea deal, eight years in prison.

Police then spotted him Dec. 4 in Hamilton Hill, but he led them on the chase. He was accused of speeding through multiple intersections and nearly colliding with other vehicles.

He eventually abandoned his car near the Niskayuna Hannaford and fled. Police discovered the car and began a search of the area aided by a state police helicopter, but could not find him.

After his January arrest, police charged him with multiple misdemeanors and a felony related to the car, which was stolen.

On Monday, Gentry appeared in Schenectady County Court with his attorney Mark Juda for a hearing and his long-postponed sentencing.

Prosecutor John Carson showed video from the chase and offered the officer’s testimony and transcripts from Gentry’s plea.

Murphy found Gentry failed to show up for sentencing and had police contact while out. Murphy then sentenced Gentry to the maximum, eight years.

Gentry appeared in City Court Tuesday morning and resolved his chase-related charges, including the car theft felony charge, with a misdemeanor plea to unlawfully fleeing a police officer. Misdemeanor sentences automatically merge with state prison sentences, meaning Gentry’s total sentence remains eight years.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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