Allen Funk, who was previously sentenced to seven years in state prison for assaulting a Canandaigua cop, had his seven-year sentence reduced 6 months after appeal.
CANANDAIGUA — When you're in state prison, every day matters — and a former heroin addict serving time for assaulting a Canandaigua police officer is going to spend 180 fewer days there after his sentence was reduced.
Allen Funk, previously sentenced to seven years for running over a Canandaigua police officer with his truck and fleeing from police, saw a sliver of leniency by Ontario County Court Judge William Kocher in court on Wednesday when his sentence was reduced from seven years.
“I’m going to sentence you to six and a half years followed by three years of post-release supervision,” said Kocher. “You’re not through after that, though; you’ve still got legal matters to resolve in Pennsylvania when you’re done here.”
The sentence came after a plea to the judge for leniency, in which Funk painted the picture of a changed man.
“I apologize to the court for not taking responsibility for my actions,” said Funk, who is an Army veteran who suffers from PTSD after a tour in Afghanistan. “Prison is a stark cold reality. I’ve dug myself a very deep hole and I’m trying to dig myself out.”
At the time of his crime Funk stated that he was addicted to heroin. According to Funk, since the Ontario County jury found him guilty of second-degree assault, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and criminal mischief he’s taken advantage of the multiple counseling services and educational opportunities available to inmates.
He cited his completion of numerous programs, counseling and educational, since his sentence in December of 2015, most of which address his addiction to heroin and PTSD.
Funk’s sentence was returned to the judge after an appeals court ruled that his Pennsylvania felony offense did not fulfill New York state predicate felony offense requirements, thus the need for the new sentence.
The difference in potential sentence for Funk after the appeal victory was going from three to seven years to a potential two to seven years.
“I give you my word, I will never set foot in your courtroom or county again.” said Funk.
With the new sentence and good time credit, Funk could potentially be released five years into his sentence.
The lesser sentence shocked members of the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office.
“I respect the judge's authority under the law to determine the appropriate sentence,” said Christopher Eaggleston, assistant district Aatorney. “I respectfully disagree with the sentence, especially when he indicated to us before he was going to sentence him to the max.”
After the case was adjourned, District Attorney James Ritts returned to the courtroom and asked to be heard on the matter.
“We feel we were misled,” said Ritts, “The court indicated that this was a max sentence.”
Kocher stated that Funk’s efforts to change while in prison impacted his decision.
“If you feel that you were misled then that’s on me,” said Kocher. “I take responsibility.”