SCHENECTADY – The man convicted in a 2019 box cutter attack in downtown Schenectady has been sentenced to the maximum term possible under the conviction, 15 years in state prison, the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office said.
Justin Walker, Sr., 36, was convicted in May of three counts, including first-degree attempted assault, in the Oct. 13, 2019 attack at the Union Inn, officials said.
Walker was accused of cutting the woman in the mouth, face and neck at the bar after accusing her of selling him fake drugs days earlier, officials said.
At his sentencing Friday, the woman told the court she suffers from night terrors and daily anxiety attacks as a result of the assault. She also told the court she has “extreme difficulty in accepting that her face will never be the same,” prosecutors said.
The woman called Walker a danger to society and asked for the maximum term, prosecutors said.
Judge Mark Caruso then sentenced Walker to that maximum term. Caruso did so as he told Walker that Walker did everything possible to cover up his revenge attack but “failed miserably,” Caruso said, according to prosecutors.
The judge also cited work from nearby business co-owner Doreen Ditoro who went through her funeral home’s surveillance system and discovered key video of Walker changing his appearance before the crime, video the judge indicated largely solved the case.
The attack happened Oct. 13, 2019, after Walker initially approached the woman at the Union Inn and asked for his money back, prosecutors said.
When she declined, Walker left the bar and went to his car parked around the corner. While at his car, he changed out of his clothing and sneakers and donned a ski mask, prosecutors said. He then jumped a fence to reenter the bar and waited until the woman reentered the outdoor patio area to attack.
He then attacked her from behind, pulled her head back and sliced her with a box cutter through her mouth, face and on her neck, prosecutors said.
Walker fled, but soon returned to the scene to watch her get into the ambulance.
Walker also addressed the court at the sentencing after he had his attorney read a letter to the court. He indicated early childhood family dysfunction caused him difficulty and that he was struggling to survive and attain higher education goals, prosecutors said.
But the judge, in his own comments, addressed Walker, indicating “you speak well, you write well, I only wish you acted well,” prosecutors wrote.
Assistant Schenectady County District Attorney Jessica Lorusso prosecuted. Conflict Defender Tracey Chance represented Walker.