One of two people arrested after the January 2012 killing of a woman on Clinton Street was sentenced Friday after admitting earlier to possessing the knife used to kill the woman prior to the stabbing.
The man who admitted to stabbing and killing 43-year-old Tammy Washington was sentenced in January to 20 years in prison.
Sonya R. Hall, 45, received the agreed-upon sentence of 18 months to 4 1⁄2 years in prison. Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago said she was troubled by a pre-sentencing investigation that indicated Hall appeared to deal with ordinary situations with violence, and that she regularly carried a weapon.
“If you had anything to do with the actual death of Ms. Washington, this would have been a totally different situation, Ms. Hall,” Drago told Hall. “You have to learn to deal with life on life’s terms, without resorting to violence.”
If she doesn’t, Drago told Hall, she should be prepared to stand before a judge again in the future, looking at more prison time.
Hall pleaded guilty last year to third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, admitting to having a hunting knife Jan. 30, 2012, on Clinton Street with the intent of using it unlawfully against Washington. However, Hall did not use the knife —Washington was killed by the man Hall was with, 33-year-old Perry Miller.
The incident began when Washington, Miller and Hall got into an argument at the Salvation Army on Lafayette Street during that morning’s breakfast program. When they refused to stop arguing, staff asked them to leave.
Prosecutor Philip Mueller characterized the argument as petty, involving jealousy. He credited program workers with preventing the scene from escalating inside the building.
Program workers tried to mediate the argument outside, but it continued off Salvation Army property. Miller and Hall walked away, but Washington followed.
Washington is believed to have known either Miller or Hall had a knife. Hall was seen by Salvation Army workers with a knife outside their building, Mueller has said. Knowing that, Washington awkwardly armed herself by picking up a 4-foot parking sign pole from a nearby lot.
Once Washington caught up with the pair on Clinton Street, the argument continued. Washington weakly swung the pole at Miller twice. The second time, she grazed his arm, not injuring him through his coat.
Miller then punched Washington, and she either lost control of the pole or threw it down. Miller then stabbed her twice and left.
He and Hall were arrested soon after.