Man apologizes for bottle attack before drawing 6-month jail term
SCHENECTADY An emotional Saratoga Springs man apologized in court Friday for assaulting another man with an empty vodka bottle at a late-night gathering in a wooded area in Glenville last year.
The victim needed a dental implant after the attack, which apparently was over a woman.
“I just want to say I’m sorry for everything, the whole thing,” defendant Robert Nichols said. “I’m sorry for him, the victim. I can’t imagine how he feels.”
Nichols, 21, had pleaded guilty earlier to one count of second-degree assault, a felony. In exchange, he was to be sentenced to up to two years in state prison.
Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago on Friday sentenced Nichols to six months in jail.
The judge thanked Nichols for his statement, saying it’s something she doesn’t see very often from defendants. But she also lectured Nichols for being in that situation — a party in the woods behind a school building — in the first place.
“I know you’re fairly young, but you’re not that young, come on,” Drago told Nichols.
Drago characterized what happened as a result of drinking and drugging.
“This is exactly what happens,” Drago added later, “when you apparently want to party and there’s no boundaries on that.”
She called what happened childish and easily avoidable.
Nichols was one of three individuals arrested in November in connection with the July 8 attack at the gathering in a wooded area behind the Burnt-Hills-Ballston lake Central School District administration building on Cypress Drive.
Police said at the time that the victim sustained a fractured jaw and cuts that required 25 stitches and lost several teeth. Prosecutor John Healy said the man has recovered and was in the courtroom Friday.
All three suspects initially were charged with gang assault, robbery and unlawful imprisonment, felonies, police said at the time. Healy, though, said Friday the original charge was actually attempted gang assault.
As the investigation went forward, Healy said it was determined that Nichols was the one who hit the victim with the bottle. The other two were considered accomplices, either to the strike or to the subsequent taking of a backpack.
For their respective roles, the other two men — Brody J. Gifford, 20, of Glenville, and Tony Deloatch, 20, of Saratoga Springs — pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and were to be given probation.
Nichols was also ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution, $1,600 of it Friday. There was also indications in court that he could face a civil suit from the victim.
Nichols was represented in court Friday by attorney Gerard Amedio.