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Man sent to prison for holding woman at gunpoint

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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— A man who admitted holding a woman at gunpoint was sentenced Tuesday to up to 3 years in prison.

Frank Peace, 36, also faces sentencing in federal court in an unrelated weapons case. There, he faces up to 10 years in prison and can’t appeal any sentence over 5 years, 3 months. The sentences could run consecutively.

Peace had pleaded guilty in Schenectady County Court to one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment. He was indicted on that charge, as well as an assault count. He was initially charged with the more-serious charge of kidnapping, but a grand jury chose not to indict on that count.

Peace admitted to holding the woman and pointing a gun at her. That victim, in her early 20s, spoke at Peace’s sentencing Tuesday, saying she still has flashbacks to the incident and has problems with trust, prosecutor Tracey Brunecz said.

Peace was ultimately sentenced to 18 months to 3 years in prison. Considering the entire case, and the impending federal sentence, Brunecz said the sentence was appropriate.

Peace, formerly of Gifford Street, was arrested in April 2012, accused of kidnapping the woman, threatening her at gunpoint and attempting to ransom her for $2,000 as he took her to her mother’s home in Colonie.

At one point, according to papers filed after his arrest, Peace allegedly told her: “One of two things [is] going to happen today: You’re going to give me $2,000 or I’m going to kill you today.” He was also accused then of using a stun gun on her and restraining her with handcuffs, a gag and a hood.

The original kidnapping count carried a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. The grand jury in the case, though, decided not to indict on that count, Brunecz said. She said she didn’t ask them why, but noted testimony that, on the way to the mother’s house, Peace either allowed or ordered the woman to go into a gas station and pay for gas. She then returned to Peace without calling attention to her situation.

Brunecz said that is a hard concept for many to understand, but she believed it’s something that’s not unusual in kidnapping cases. In the woman’s mind, she wanted to get to her mother’s house, knowing she’d be safe there. She saw Peace as the only way to get there. It was at her mother’s house that she fled, police said.

Peace was represented by attorney Andrew Safranko. Presiding over the case was Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago.

In the federal case, Peace admitted in January to having more than 100 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition at his home. The cartridges were found during a search by Schenectady police detectives, according to papers filed earlier in federal court.

 
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