BALLSTON SPA – The second brother to plead guilty in a Saratoga Springs assault case that led to a man’s death was sentenced Thursday afternoon to three years in prison and three years post release supervision.
Jordan Garafalo declined to make any comments during his sentencing Thursday for the assault of Mark French.
Garafalo and his brother Jordan Garafalo were initially arrested on second-degree assault charges, then later indicted on first-degree manslaughter counts in the death of 56-year-old Mark French outside Clancy’s Tavern Aug. 14. French was found unconscious by police shortly after 11 p.m. near the intersection of Henry and Caroline streets.
Jordan Garafalo pleaded guilty in September to second-degree assault, a felony.
Judge Chad Brown also issued 11-year orders of protection for Nicholas French and Griffin Clancy.
French’s wife, Angela French, spoke during the sentencing reading the same statement she gave during James Garafalo’s sentencing in May.
“Since Mark’s death I’ve struggled,” she said. “The weight of the grief has made it difficult to concentrate and work. I ended up leaving my job after 21 years with the company.”
James Garafalo was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in state prison.
Angela French continued on to say she’s had a hard time finding her place in the world again.
“I’m not the most important person to anyone anymore, so I feel like I’m nobody,” she said.
She said she was devastated by the lenient sentencing Garafalo would receive.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Buckley said cases like these are often hard to legally pursue.
“It is our position that while no sentence will bring back Mark French and no sentence can erase the tragedy that occurred here, that based upon the legal issues this plea was reached in the interest of justice,” Buckley said.
In her closing remarks, Angela French said she forgave Garafalo. But Grace French, Mark French’s daughter, said she could never forgive him.
“As I listened to my dad’s heart stop beating the morning of Aug. 15 I felt my ambition, confidence, hope, inspiration, concept of love and entire identity drain from my existence,” she said. “What they don’t tell you is that this isn’t temporary. Time does not heal. For the last year and a half I have waited to feel whole again and feel like the version of myself who consistently could strive for greatness.”
French said she hopes Garafalo doesn’t forget her remarks or the pain he has caused.
“I hope my grief visits you every night and reminds you that no amount of time served can erase your past,” she said. “And I hope you sit with the way you’ve rewritten the course of so many people’s lives.”
While Jordan Garafalo did not address the court, his attorney George LaMarche did.
“There are so many people involved in this night who all made bad choices,” he said.