A former Cooperstown student will continue to serve out his 11-year prison sentence after a state appellate court upheld his conviction for trying to kill a black classmate in 2010.
On Thursday, the state Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department denied the appeal of Anthony Pacherille, Jr. to be resentenced as a youthful offender instead of the more severe 11-year punishment he received for attempted second-degree murder.
Although Pacherille, Jr., now 19, pleaded guilty to shooting classmate Wesley Lippitt in the arm inside the Cooperstown Police Station on April 2, 2010, the defense has argued Otsego County Court Judge Brian Burns abused his discretion by denying him youthful offender status.
The appellate division, however, ruled such an argument was irrelevant because Pacherille, Jr. had waived his right to appeal the conviction.
Still, Pacherille, Jr.’s attorney, Frank Policelli, said the appellate division overlooked an important point: The issue of Pacherille, Jr.’s status as a youthful offender was never placed on the record in his official plea bargain, so therefore that item remained open to appeal.
“We had argued all along that youthful offender status wasn’t part of the plea bargain, and the appellate division never addressed that issue,” Policelli said Friday. “To have something be part of a plea bargain you have to have a record of what that plea bargain is.”
The appellate division also disagreed with Policelli’s argument that Judge Burns vengefully sentenced Pacherille, Jr. as an adult after feeling intimated by a letter the teen’s father, Anthony Pacherille, Sr., had sent the judge.
“Our review of the record does not reveal bias impacting the sentence and indicates that the sentencing judge properly exercised his responsibility at the time of sentencing,” according to the ruling.