Ithaca man gets probation in gun case; victims incensed
Ithaca man gets probation in gun case; victims incensed
By Raymond Drumsta
ITHACA — An Ithaca man, charged along with two others for burglarizing a dozen guns, was sentenced to probation in Tompkins County Court Wednesday, much to the chagrin — and anger — of the burglary victims.
The victims are also astonished that two of the stolen guns — including a sniper rifle — are still missing.
Judge John C. Rowley sentenced Kevin Chambliss, 21, of Ithaca, to five years probation and time served for the reduced charge of attempted second-degree burglary, to which he pleaded guilty on Oct. 20.
He also has to make financial restitution, along with his co-defendants, of about $5,350, and the court issued an order of protection for the victims. Chambliss must also make 50 visits to the community justice center, refrain from drugs and alcohol and undergo a substance evaluation as some of the conditions of his probation.
The district attorney had recommended a sentence of 90 days incarceration and five years probation.
Chambliss was one of four men arrested and charged with second-degree burglary for breaking into an Ithaca home and taking several guns, including an AR-15 .223 caliber semi-automatic assault weapon, a Ruger Mini-14 .223 caliber sniper rifle, two.22 caliber pistols, two Intra-Tech 9 mm semi-automatic pistols and a Mossberg Street Sweeper 12-gauge shotgun, according to the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office.
While one man was released for lack of evidence, two others — Sudan Asiedu, 21, of Ithaca, and Rashid Howard, 18, of Danby — also pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree burglary and are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15, according to the court.
When he was arrested, Chambliss was in possession of one of the guns, while several others were found buried in a wooded area off of Durfee Hill Road in the Town of Danby, police said. The sheriff's office, with the assistance of the Ithaca Police Department, recovered 10 of the missing weapons.
Chambliss, Howard and Asiedu were friends of the victim's family and had been to the house, the victims said. The robbery has left them feeling “very guarded” and “always on alert,” they said, adding that they since have upgraded the burglar alarm on their house.
“I shouldn't have to live like this,” one of the victims said.
He described the burglars as “wannabe gang members” who spoke of the Bloods street gang in Syracuse. The types of guns they chose to steal, which he called semi-automatic “street-assault weapons,” speaks volumes about their intent, he said.
“These kids are trying to put street gangs together,” he said. “These guns were taken for street use. They knew exactly what they were taking. We're letting the big town, cancerous blight enter our pretty little town.”
Two of the weapons — a Ruger Mini-14 rifle and a .22 caliber pistol — are still missing, the victim said.
“I don't think the DA has a clue as to the firepower they took,” he said, “and two guns are still out there.”
This crime and the theft of weapons in general are all the more outrageous, he said, in light of the recent shootings — and one death — of New York state troopers.
“This all happened when Bucky Phillips was shooting troopers in Western New York,” he said. “I think that raises the issue of how serious this crime is.”
The reduced charge, he said, seems absurd.
“How do you get a plea of attempted burglary of guns when you're caught with one of the guns on you?” he said. “How the DA let that happen is beyond me. Here's a guy being allowed to walk on suspicion of robbery. How does that bear out?”
The victims praised the Tompkins County sheriff's deputies who solved the crime, Senior Investigator Derek Osborne and Investigator Jody Coombs in particular. They said the deputies were professional, kind and empathetic.
However, giving information to the Tompkins County District Attorney's office and probation personnel — including six separate Victim Impact Statements — was a frustrating, time-consuming process which re-victimized them, they said. Their phone calls weren't returned, they added, and they weren't updated as to the time of Chambliss' sentencing hearing.
Despite the fact they had been buried and there were no fingerprints on them, the district attorney held onto the guns from August until October, which allowed them to rust, they said. Most may be unsalvageable, they added.
District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson said Wednesday that she would not comment on the case until she got more information.
Other items taken in the burglary — including gold and diamond jewelry of great sentimental value — are also still missing, they said.
Doncha just love the liberal media??, Since when is the ruger Mini 14 a SNIPER rifle?????
Originally Posted by scooter
My mini 14 that I had would barely group 3" @ 100yds!!!!
This sent me rolling.
AR-15 .223 caliber semi-automatic assault weapon
, a Ruger Mini-14 .223 caliber sniper rifle
and a Mossberg Street Sweeper
This one just about killed me! I miss the New York State funnies... er news reports. You can't get that kind of comedy in many places.
As "funny" as the quotes are to those who have a clue, all too many in our society no longer do have a clue and actually believe this claptrap: and so Mary Maloney (I know that is not the real name but I don't care to have the respect for her to look it up) reintroduces an "assault weapons" ban ,adding guns. And gets it past the house.
When I first got my Mass Pistol license, I walked in to see the chief of police, filled out a form, got a fingerprint, told him I carried cash, paid $25 and had it 1 week later. Try that now.
Laughing at it is fun..... but also scary.
Be 'fraid people, be very 'fraid.
Law abiding citizens had their legally owned firearms confiscated in LA after Hurricane Katrina. No receipts were to be given. Many have been destroyed.
Just a few sobering thoughts for you
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