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Sentencing in Gun Possession and Home Invasion case of William Choate, Deshawn Cherry, and Rockym Alston; Radames Moya to be sentenced

District Attorney

Schenectady County Court (Honorable Matthew J. Sypniewski) sentenced William Choate (DOB 6/9/02), Deshawn Cherry (DOB 4/3/02) and Rockym Alston (DOB 7/9/04) in connection with their pleas of guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a class-C violent felony). A fourth codefendant, Radames Moya (DOB 7/9/00) is scheduled to be sentenced to five years in State Prison on March 19, 2024. Judge Sypniewski sentenced Choate and Cherry to seven years determinate in State Prison. Judge Sypniewski sentenced Rockym Alston to five years in State Prison. Moya is a resident of Schenectady. Choate, Cherry and Alston are from Portsmouth, Virginia.   The charges stem from the defendants participating, to varying degrees, in an armed and masked home invasion on Lexington Avenue in the City of Schenectady on January 29, 2022. Cherry and Alston then followed one of the victims of the home invasion into Central Park and robbed her at gunpoint. Several hours later, Schenectady Police Department patrol officers Brendan Maloney and John Larkin then apprehended all four defendants in a vehicle driven by Moya. Police located two loaded handguns in the vehicle. Schenectady County Court held suppression hearings in this matter and ruled that police lawfully seized the guns.

After close consultation with the families of the victims of the crime, and due to the defendants’ young ages, the parties entered into an agreement permitting the defendants to plead guilty to the weapons possession charges in satisfaction of the Indictment. Alston, who was 17 years old at the time of the offenses, was eligible for youthful offender treatment, which would have resulted in a lower sentence and would have expunged the criminal conviction from his record. The District Attorney’s Office opposed youthful offender treatment due to the violent nature of the crime. Judge Sypniewski denied youthful offender treatment to Alston.  While out on bail on this matter, Alston was arrested and extradited from Virginia. When police apprehended him in Virginia, he was in possession of a fully-automatic handgun.

Judge Sypniewski ordered the defendants to pay restitution to the victims for damage to the victims’ home and car as well as for cash and jewelry they stole during the burglary. The owner of the home that was burglarized made a victim impact statement at the sentencing, telling the defendants, “You stole more than change and jewelry. You stole my security, the calm and peacefulness of my life.”

Justin DeArmas, Esq. represented William Choate. John McFadden, Esq. represented Deshawn Cherry. Daniel Smalls, Esq. represented Rockym Alston and Kurt Haas, Esq. represents Radames Moya. ADA Amy Burock is handling the matter on behalf of the People.