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What you need to know for 08/21/2017

New plea in 2016 Schenectady car assault case

New plea in 2016 Schenectady car assault case

Original called for 8 years in prison; he now faces 5
New plea in 2016 Schenectady car assault case
This car's driver ran down three people on Chestnut Street on March 24, 2016.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCHENECTADY — An issue with the extent of a pregnant woman's injuries led to a new guilty plea and lesser sentence in a car assault case from last year, attorneys said Monday.

Victor J. Thompson, 21, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree assault in the case. He is to get five years in state prison at his August sentencing.

The plea came after a judge allowed Thompson to take back his initial November guilty plea to first-degree assault when some questions arose over how badly the woman was hurt, an important element to the higher charge. The initial plea deal called for eight years in prison.

Thompson admitted Monday to recklessly assaulting the woman with a car March 24, 2016, near the corner of Chestnut Street and Victory Avenue in the Vale neighborhood.

Prosecutors contended Thompson got into the car because of an argument with another man. The pregnant woman was not involved and was simply walking nearby at the time.

Thompson attempted to end the argument by getting in a car and intentionally driving at one of the individuals involved, prosecutors said. He hit that man and a second man. Both suffered comparatively lesser injuries.

Thompson then jumped out of the moving car as it continued on and struck the woman, causing a head injury that included a skull fracture, prosecutor Nicolaus Brooks-McDonald has said.

She survived and went on to deliver a healthy baby unaffected by the crash, Brooks-McDonald said.

Thompson's attorney Michael Mansion has said the November plea came after court decisions to exclude several statements allegedly made by Thompson to police.

However, jailhouse phones recorded other incriminating statements made by Thompson that prosecutors were prepared to use at trial.

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