LOCKPORT – Judges dished out stiff sentences in separate cases Thursday, both involving repeat felons.
State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. sent Deonte J. Brinson of Niagara Falls to prison for 15 years in connection with a Jan. 23 armed home invasion in the Falls that was blamed for the female victim’s subsequent miscarriage.
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas imposed a 10-year sentence on Dennis M. Schultz of Lockport for a home burglary.
Brinson, 21, of Mackenna Avenue, was sentenced after Kloch rejected a motion from defense attorney Robert Viola to have another judge handle the sentencing.
Viola said he thought Kloch had prejudged the case by announcing at the Nov. 9 sentencing of co-defendant Marcel M. Walker that Brinson was “going down.”
Brinson had pleaded guilty to all the counts in the original indictment – two counts each of first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary and single counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal mischief – in exchange for a sentencing cap of 15 years. He faced up to 25 years if convicted at trial.
Walker, 23, of Pierce Avenue, received four years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree burglary.
Viola told Kloch that at Walker’s sentencing, “You basically stated you were going to max my client out.”
“I told him he was pretty much going to get the 15 years when he took the cap,” Kloch said.
Viola said Walker’s four-year sentence was “good lawyering on somebody’s part.”
Kloch replied, “His DNA was not on the gun. Your client’s DNA was on the gun that was shoved into the face of this young woman, who subsequently lost a baby.”
Viola said, “I hope Your Honor is not trying to balance the scales [with a long sentence for Brinson].”
“That’s a ridiculous comment,” Kloch said. “I would never do that. I’m going to sentence Mr. Brinson for what he did.”
The victim said she thought Brinson deserved the 15 years.
At the other sentencing, Schultz’s attorney, Michael D’Amico, said his client is appealing the Oct. 3 jury verdict that convicted him of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, fourth-degree grand larceny and possession of burglary tools.
Schultz, 21, of Olcott Street, was on parole for an attempted burglary conviction when a sheriff’s deputy caught him walking down Chestnut Ridge Road in Lockport about 5:30 a.m. March 14, wearing a dark face mask and carrying a backpack.
The backpack contained a man’s wallet, a woman’s purse, an iPad, an iPod and an iPhone, all of which had been reported stolen from a home on Ridgewood Drive in the Town of Lockport.
“It appears there are some mental health issues that haven’t been adequately addressed in his life,” D’Amico told the judge.
“He was on parole and was offered all kinds of help. He said he was too busy,” Farkas replied.
“Unless he takes responsibility, I don’t think he’s ever going to move on.”