Posted at: 11/29/2012 5:38 PM
Updated at: 11/29/2012 5:53 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
BALLSTON SPA - Frank Soriano walks into court Thursday morning not knowing how long he'll spend behind bars.
The former state corrections officer was tried and convicted in September of assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
A jury found Soriano guilty of stabbing Jeffrey Streicher of Wilton, during a road rage encounter on Northern Pines Road.
Soriano claimed he was acting in self defense against the taller, younger Streicher, who is also a boxer.
In court, Soriano turned to Streicher and apologized, saying he takes full responsibility.
Despite an impassioned plea for leniency from Soriano's attorney, Michael Koenig, who called his client a "gentleman" and cited his "commendable work" as a corrections officer, Judge Jerry Scarano sentenced Soriano to five years in state prison.
"I think if you look at the totality of all the work that Frank has done, a more lenient sentence would've been warranted," said Koenig.
Soriano's friends and relatives who filled the courtroom, say justice wasn't served.
"The man was defending himself. He never even broke the law, not even a speeding ticket," said Nelson Ramos, Soriano's nephew.
But Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy said the punishment fits the crime. "It is an appropriate sentence for a violent man who committed a violent act."
As he left court in handcuffs Thursday, Soriano seemed undaunted that he'd just been sentenced to five years in prison.
"That's why he have the appeal process," Soriano said. "Judge Scarano did what he thought was right."