The sentence of admitted burglar Timothy Cipriani, arrested last year after he was found stuck in the duct work of a pizzeria, is expected to depend on not only his criminal record, but also any psychiatric or substance abuse problems.
Cipriani appeared in Schenectady County Court Tuesday for a hearing to determine his sentence, but his attorney, Lauren Mack, asked Judge Karen Drago for more time, saying she was still trying to obtain any psychiatric or substance abuse records for Cipriani. She needed those records, she said, to make any arguments for mitigating circumstances in the case.
Drago granted the delay, putting any determinations off until early May.
Prosecutors are seeking to have Cipriani judged a persistent felon and sentenced to a term that includes the possibility of life in prison.
Cipriani pleaded guilty in November to felony burglary, admitting he burglarized Paesan’s Pizza on Guilderland Avenue in Rotterdam on March 18.
Cipriani’s identity as the burglar was never in doubt. In the process of breaking in, he got stuck in the pizzeria’s duct work. Evidence photos of Cipriani dangling from the duct were disseminated widely over the Internet.
Cipriani’s guilty plea, though, left open what his final sentence would be. He brokered the deal directly with Drago.
Prosecutors had offered a set sentence of 15 years to life in state prison, based on Cipriani’s lengthy criminal history, which includes convictions in five similar burglary cases dating back to 1992.
Offenders who are judged to be persistent felons face up to 25 years to life. They generally become eligible for that status on their third felony conviction, though it’s not automatic.
Drago’s deal calls for an minimum possible sentence of 31⁄2 to 7 years, the maximum for the third-degree burglary charge.