Press-Republican

Local News

May 24, 2010

Stephen Giroux sentenced

PLATTSBURGH — At Stephen Giroux’s sentencing, the prosecutor painted the convicted felon as an arrogant criminal who believed he was above the law.

Giroux’s picture of himself Monday was of a bipolar alcoholic who should get probation, a place in the community and time for mental-health and substance-abuse treatment.

Clinton County Judge Patrick McGill said many people suffer from alcoholism and mental illness without leapfrogging to criminal acts.

“You made terrible choices,” McGill said. “You chose to involve yourself in drugs.”

PRISON TIME

The judge sentenced Giroux to four years in prison, with two years of post-release supervision, for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and four years in prison, with two years of post-release supervision, for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Those sentences will run concurrently.

He further sentenced Giroux to 11⁄3 to 4 years for first-degree bail jumping, to run consecutive to his other terms.

Giroux must also pay a $600 surcharge.

SOLD TO INFORMANT

Giroux, 53, was convicted March 19 of selling 3.5 grams of cocaine, also known as an “eight ball,” for $270 to an informant in Plattsburgh on Feb. 5, 2009.

The owner of Champy’s Gas N Go in Plattsburgh failed to appear for his scheduled September 2009 trial and fled to Florida. He turned himself in about two months later and pleaded guilty to bail jumping.

Giroux’s first trial on drug charges resulted in a mistrial after a Plattsburgh City Police Department detective referenced Giroux’s criminal record in front of jurors, something that was not permitted based on a prior ruling by McGill.

The second trial began March 11 and resulted in Giroux’s conviction, though the jury questioned the credibility of the witness.

CALLED ARROGANT

“Throughout his criminal cases, Stephen Giroux has maintained an heir of superiority and arrogance,” Assistant District Attorney Douglas Collyer said at the sentencing Monday.

“Stephen Giroux believes he is above the law.”

Collyer listed past criminal convictions of Giroux, including a felony DWI in the early 1990s, 13 arrests for criminal contempt and probation violations.

Collyer questioned Giroux’s assertion he jumped bail and fled to Florida to seek help for mental illness and alcoholism.

“While in treatment, the defendant racked up an $18.25 bar tab at Alan and Michele’s Monkey Bar.”

Collyer said Giroux continues to blame his ex-girlfriend and lacks sincerity.

“The defendant has proven he is unsuitable for supervised release.”

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