A Schenectady man involved in a wild car chase through Mont Pleasant last November that ended with him shooting an Albany man to death was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Friday.
Nicholas Khan, 21, had pleaded guilty to killing 24-year-old William Riddick in what prosecutors said was a revenge killing.
Judge Richard Giardino sentenced Khan to the maximum allowed after Khan tried to back out of his end of a plea bargain.
“I don’t know what the answer is to stop this cycle [of violence],” Giardino told Khan in sentencing him Friday, “but I’m stopping your part of it for 25 years to life.”
Riddick’s mother, who spoke during sentencing, called her son her best friend, saying he didn’t deserve to die the way he did.
Khan seemingly apologized to Riddick’s family, but his statement appeared to lack a direct apology for killing Riddick.
“I just apologize to the family for their loss, and I wish things could have happened differently,” Khan told the court. “But it happened.”
Khan pleaded guilty in March to one count of second-degree murder. He admitted to chasing Riddick through the streets of Mont Pleasant on Nov. 12, 2013, in retaliation for a gunpoint car theft two hours earlier. Prosecutors said Riddick and another man took Khan’s car at gunpoint, leading Khan to go out looking for them.
He found them in Mont Pleasant, and Khan fired the fatal shot during the nighttime chase near Mont Pleasant Middle School. Riddick’s car ended up striking a school athletic field fence.
Prosecutor Philip Mueller called Khan’s actions “a determined effort to kill.”
“That wasn’t a fit of anger. That wasn’t an impulsive act,” Mueller told the court. “He’d gotten robbed two hours earlier.”
In those two hours, Mueller said, Khan recruited a driver to go look for the suspects.
“There was no trial of William Riddick. There was no accusation,” Mueller said. “There was just an execution.”
Mueller argued that the 25-year-to-life sentence was a requirement. Khan formally backed out of his pledge to help authorities in their prosecution of two men charged with taking Khan’s car.
His co-defendant and driver, Gilbert Williams, admitted to manslaughter but has yet to be sentenced. The two charged with taking the car, Ishon Williams and Dayshon McKenzie, could be tried in November.
Khan’s attorney, Mark Caruso, asked for the original sentence of 20 years to life. Khan indicated he planned to appeal to continue his efforts to take back his plea.
Riddick’s mother, Arlicia Ardis, and other family members wore T-shirts with Riddick’s picture on them. Ardis said Riddick was making efforts to get his life together. He had gotten a job, and he was working to buy a car.
“William was a good kid and, as he grew older, despite all the trouble he endured, he was still a good person,” his mother said. “He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.”
Ardis then turned her remarks toward her son’s killer.
“For every day that I suffer,” she said, “I hope he suffers, too.”