Man Sentenced Avoids Prison After Stealing Generators from Centennial Woods
A man who pleaded guilty in April to one felony count of theft after stealing four generators from Centennial Woods and eluding police in a high-speed chase was sentenced to serve jail time and pay over $10,000 in restitution Wednesday in Albany County District Court.
James Michael Williams, 41 was given a one-year split sentence with credit for the roughly seven months he has already spent in jail. Judge Jeffrey Donnell ordered Williams to apply for placement in an Adult Community Corrections facility before his release and complete that program should he be accepted.
Donnell said he may consider releasing Williams on furlough to complete that program should he be accepted before he has finished serving his jail sentence.
Williams will be placed on four years of supervised probation following his release from jail. Donnell ordered him to complete a long-term, high-intensity inpatient treatment program to deal with his substance abuse issues.
Should he violate his probation, Williams would be arrested and ordered to serve out an underlying four- to seven-year prison sentence.
Williams will have to pay a total of $10,684.18 in restitution to Centennial Woods in addition to court costs. He will also have to perform 100 hours of community service after he is released from the Albany County Detention Center.
Donnell noted Wednesday that WIlliams has struggled with substance abuse throughout his adult life. He was imprisoned after a 2003 conviction and completed an eight-month inpatient treatment program as part of that sentence.
"I was clean and sober for about ten years," Williams said in court Wednesday. "Relapsed, went down the wrong road and before I could get turned around, this is where I ended up."
Williams says he began drinking alcohol again in 2012 and was arrested for alleged drug possession in 2014. He was not convicted of any crime in connection with that arrest.
Prosecutor Kurt Britzius told the court Wednesday that he felt the plea deal was structured as to address all purposes of sentencing, with a focus on rehabilitation.
"He has one of the most severe drug addictions I have ever seen," Britzius said. "Inpatient treatment he has got to have. Without it, I don't think he'll succeed."
"You did well for ten years," Donnell told Williams after handing down the sentence. "I hope you do well, once you get finished with this, for the next thirty or forty or however long you have."