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What you need to know for 07/28/2017

Sentencing next week for killer of former Schenectady nun

Sentencing next week for killer of former Schenectady nun

Sentencing for the man who admitted to killing former nun Mary Greco has been reset for next week af

Sentencing for the man who admitted to killing former nun Mary Greco has been reset for next week after a recent ruling denying the man’s attempt to take back his plea.

Michael Briggs, 38, is now set to be sentenced Aug. 29, officials said. He is to receive an agreed upon sentence of 30 years to life for Greco’s December 2012 killing.

The sentencing was reset after Briggs’ attempt to take back his murder plea was denied by Judge Karen Drago.

The recent ruling has family members of the 82-year-old Greco now looking forward to finally getting the case over.

“We’re hoping there will be closure at this point,” Greco’s nephew Thomas Hayostek said Monday. “What he successfully did was delay for the last two months.”

Briggs pleaded guilty just prior to trial in March to second-degree murder and attempted burglary. Evidence against him was overwhelming, prosecutors said.

Just prior to his originally scheduled June sentencing, though, Briggs moved to take back his plea. The statement led to a formal motion being filed and a delay to the sentencing while it was being considered by the judge.

Drago issued her ruling earlier this month, finding no grounds upon which to disturb Briggs’ guilty plea.

Drago wrote that it was clear from the transcript of the plea that Briggs knew what he was doing, was satisfied with his attorney’s services and had enough time to consider the offer.

Briggs’ main argument was that his attorney pressured him into taking the plea. Had Briggs gone to trial, he could have faced life without parole, if convicted.

The judge found nothing improper in Briggs’ legal representation.

“[Briggs] was faced with a difficult choice that may have caused him to feel pressure,” Drago wrote. “However, that choice was a result of the circumstances defendant found himself, not the result of ineffective assistance of counsel.”

Prosecuting the case were Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney and Assistant District Attorney John Healy.

Carney said Monday that the ruling was clear. “You can’t have a do-over because you have buyer’s remorse.”

Briggs was represented before and during is guilty plea by attorney Michael Mansion and during his attempt to take back his plea by attorney James Tyner. Still to be conducted is a proceedings to confirm Briggs has a prior felony.

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