Randy Green, jaunty and seemingly in good spirits as he attended his sentencing for murder Thursday, repeated his claim that a child-porn videotape featuring Ray Pike led him to stab the 63-year-old Gloversville resident and slit his throat.
“What I saw that night [expletive] up my head,” he told Fulton County Judge Polly A. Hoye shortly before she sentenced him to 22 years to life in prison for the brutal Aug. 15 attack on Pike on the Rail Trail. Pike was a Level 3 sex offender who in recent years was known for volunteering at local churches and agencies.
The 26-year-old Green, who lived on Willow Street, was more cordial toward Pike’s family than on Jan. 30, when he accosted them as he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
“I’m sorry … you ain’t got your father around no more,” Green said Thursday before adding, “Life sucks sometimes.”
Though Green’s attorney, Robert Abdella, said his investigation leads him to believe there was a videotape depicting Pike with a young girl, Fulton County District Attorney Louise K. Sira said police never found it.
Citing a fruitless search of the Bleecker Street, Gloversville, apartment Pike shared with Green’s co-defendant, 45-year-old Gordon Wilson, Sira told Judge Hoye, “I cannot in any way account for a videotape that I cannot say exists.”
During Abdella’s presentation Thursday of what he termed “another version of events that night,” Green shouted out that the child in the videotape was between 5 and 8 years old.
Abdella said while there was no videotape available to the defense, there was a DVD containing still images apparently recorded by Pike on a cellphone and then transferred. Among photos taken in a church setting or at the Salvation Army, Abdella said, were images of fully clothed children and a shot of Pike, by himself, displaying his penis.
Sira said there was nothing inappropriate about the DVD, given that Pike was not in the presence of children while exposing himself.
Abdella said Wilson and Pike were not friendly and that Wilson may have played the videotape to deliberately enrage the unstable Green. Green had served a prior prison term for a stabbing in Gloversville. When Green viewed the tape, Abdella said, he “lost whatever restraint he had.”
In his remarks, Green said the tape “was indeed in that apartment.” He called himself “a hardworking logger,” and assured the court, “I’m not a bad person.” When he entered the courtroom, he yelled out, “How is everybody today?”
As Pike’s daughter, Melissa Richardson, read a victim’s impact statement, Green sometimes smiled and nodded his head in apparent agreement. Richardson recounted hearing “the devastating news,” and called Green “a brutal monster” who committed “a merciless act.” Before asking Green why he thought he had the power to take a life, Richardson said, “We don’t know why, but we do know that you are a cold, brutal, merciless and cowardly murderer who took it upon himself to play executioner.”
Abdella sought to put this act in the context of Green’s difficult and disadvantaged childhood and his eventual placement in a variety of homes. A fractured skull and other broken bones suffered while Green was still an infant, Abdella suggested, may have indicated abuse.
Sira acknowledged life may have been difficult for Green, but she said, “It provides an explanation; it doesn’t provide an excuse.”
She said Green fully confessed to the events of Aug. 15. “We have to focus on the evidence that we have,” she said. “Mr. Green purposefully and intentionally stabbed Mr. Pike and slit his throat.”
Green was arrested later in the day on Aug. 15 after he and Wilson took a taxi to Vandenburg’s Point on the Great Sacandaga Lake and tried to burn Green’s clothes and the murder weapon — a hunting knife — in a campfire.
Sira said previously that Green attacked Pike twice that night. Before the stabbing on the trail, Green confronted Pike in the Bleecker Street apartment and hit him over the head with a board.
Officials had said the three men were apparently getting along again when they decided to walk on the trail to Price Chopper.