The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

December 14, 2012

Offer made in prison fight

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Floyd Gaston, an inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility, appeared in County Court Monday, but no progress was made on a plea offer made by District Attorney Joe Cardone.

Cardone has offered Gaston a plea to second-degree attempted assault, with sentencing not to exceed 1 1/2 to three years in prison, for a fight at the Albion facility that injured a corrections officer.

County Court Judge James Punch said he couldn’t understand why Gaston, who he said had more than 14 prior felonies, would have his sentencing guidelines shaved.

“You’re going down from assault to attempted assault, that seems like a substantial reduction,” Punch said.

Cardone said the reduction to attempted assault was due to the degree of injury sustained in the altercation and had the injured officer’s blessing.

“He was punched several times, suffering extensive pain ... headaches for a month, pain from contusions,” Cardone said.

There were other issues beyond the offer.

Attorney Nathan Pace, who represented Gaston in court, said audio tapes received from an administrative hearing on the incident were incomplete and that multiple witnesses contradicted the official report.

“They didn’t match up ... there are missing portions, crucial portions,” Pace said.

Proceedings against Gaston were adjourned to Jan. 7 to allow for review of the statements.

• Cardone made an offer of second-degree attempted burglary without sentencing guidelines to Joshua Gang, who is charged with taking long guns from a home that were later pawned. No action was taken on the offer Monday.

• Travis Avino and Robert Wyant Jr. were arraigned on multiple drug possession and sale charges. Also arraigned were Mitchell Merrill on charges of burglary, larceny and mischief; and Robert Jones, who faces burglary and larceny charges. All are scheduled to appear Jan. 7.

Jason Hirtreiter, who was charged along with Jones, was not present Monday. A warrant for his arrest was authorized.

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