A man sentenced to prison Friday for possessing a stolen car told the court he hoped to address the drug addiction that led him to the crime.
But the judge responded by pointing out the plight of the person whose car he stole, and the plight of the thief’s grandmother, who was in court Friday to see her grandson sentenced.
Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino sentenced Donald Garry, 32, of 132 Glenville St., to two to four years in state prison.
As he did so, Giardino invoked Garry’s grandmother.
“What disturbs me most about your actions is they not only affect the woman whose car you took, but your grandmother, as well,” he told Garry. “She should be enjoying her retirement.”
The judge indicated it was a good sign that she was there to support him. At the same time, she won’t have her grandson around for some time.
“She doesn’t need the stress of you going to prison,” Giardino told Garry. “She needs the joy of having you around the house to help out.”
For his part, Garry indicated he was at the point where he wanted to change. He recounted a life of multiple past crimes and stints in prison. He said when he got out of prison, he thought he could still use drugs like crack cocaine only occasionally. His record, though, shows that he can’t.
“I need treatment more than anything if I’m ever going to make this cycle end,” Garry said, reading from a lengthy prepared statement.
“I can’t take back the past no matter what, but my addiction and poor decisions have ruined my life so far.”
His attorney, John Della Ratta, reiterated that, telling the court he believes his client accepts responsibility for what he did.
Giardino also ordered that Garry be screened for eligibility for prison programs, including drug treatment programs.
Garry pleaded guilty in August to one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He admitted that he possessed the stolen car in March, then crashed it.