Two of the four Red Hook teenage suspects in the Tivoli home invasion that occurred in September have pled guilty.
Andrew Graffia, 19, and Joseph Pasqualina, 17, pleaded to a lesser charge in Dutchess County Court on Jan. 4, according to Ulster County Assistant District Attorney Gerard VanLoan.
The Ulster County DA’s office is prosecuting the case because the Dutchess County Dutchess County DA office recused itself after a relative of an employee became a potential witness.
Although the teenagers were charged with robbery in the first degree at the time of the Sept. 16 incident, they plead guilty to robbery in the third degree, and presiding Judge Stephen Greller accepted that plea. Robbery in the first degree is committed with a deadly weapon, with a minimum of five years in prison, while third degree is considered “robbery by force,” according to VanLoan, and carries no minimum jail sentence.
Graffia and Pasqualina face a sentencing hearing on March 4. They are expected to receive six months in jail and five years of probation, but they have already served their time in jail between the incident and their court date, VanLoan told The Observer.
Due to the way the justice system counts jail time, the actual sentence served is closer to four months, VanLoan added.
A guilty plea from the third suspect, Cameron Tondini, 18, of Tivoli, is expected in early February. The Ulster County DA’s office has had no word yet from the fourth suspect, Justin Small, 19. Both were also charged with robbery in the first degree.
According to police reports at the time, the four suspects forced their way into an occupied dwelling in Tivoli at 4:30am, armed with a camouflage handgun and a stun baton and stole items from the home, including electronics, air rifles and a quantity of marijuana.