A man who was to be retried after part of his 2009 weapons-related conviction was tossed on appeal now won’t be retried, because of the long delay in scheduling a retrial.
The ruling Friday means Yonas Soloman will serve the remainder of his 31⁄2- to 7-year term. He will not be retried on other counts that could have increased his sentence back to the original 12 years.
Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino formally dismissed the remaining counts against Soloman, 30, noting it has now been more than three years since the case was last in court. He noted the length of time that has passed and Soloman’s remaining sentence.
As to why the case never got called back, Giardino did not fault the prosecution or defense. “I do believe the ball was dropped somewhere between here and the clerk’s office,” he said in court.
The judge last had the case in January 2011, when he placed it on the trial calender, but a new date never was set.
Soloman, formerly of Fourth Avenue, was convicted in October 2009 on five counts, including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree reckless endangerment.
He was arrested Jan. 16, 2009, and accused of firing a shot through the floor at 1229 Fourth Ave.
Five adults and five children were in the downstairs apartment at the time, officials said. One woman was within several feet of the bullet hole and an infant was asleep in the next room, prosecutors have said. No one was hurt.
Soloman emerged from the upstairs apartment 30 minutes after police arrived, saying he didn’t know what had happened. No one else was found in the apartment and no one was seen fleeing.
Inside the apartment police found live rounds of 9 mm ammunition in a jacket hanging a few feet from where the bullet was fired. A disassembled 9 mm pistol, missing a key piece, was also found.
On appeal, the Appellate Division found in November 2010 that all the convictions except a third-degree criminal possession of a weapon count should be overturned and retried because explanations of circumstantial evidence given to the jury were insufficiently detailed.
Soloman continues to serve the 31⁄2- to 7-year sentence. He has already been denied parole once and has had a poor disciplinary record in prison, state officials said, suggesting he may have to serve the full seven years before he gets out, which would be in 2016.
Soloman was represented at trial and Friday by attorney Steve Signore.
Giardino admonished Soloman at the close of Friday’s proceedings, saying his prior record would make him eligible for a sentence of up to life in prison if he is convicted of another felony.
The judge also said he hoped Soloman would take advantage of what happened, correct his ways and stay out of trouble when he is freed from prison.
“Some people would look at this as they’re getting a break, others would look at it as an opportunity,” Giardino told Soloman. “I’d prefer you to look at it as an opportunity.”