With supportive friends and family in the courtroom, and a letter of support from an officer of the law he assaulted, 22-year-old Craig A. Tiberio-Shepherd, was given a second chance in county court today.
Tiberio-Shepherd, facing up to four years in prison, was sentenced to five years probation by Judge Robert C. Noonan.
Previously, Tiberio-Shepherd admitted to assault, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and felony DWI.
Twice -- in July and in November -- Tiberio-Shepherd appeared before the judge with Noonan prepared to send the Le Roy resident to state prison. But those sentencing hearings were delayed and Tiberio-Shepherd continued on in substance-abuse programs, enrolled in college and held down a job.
"The significance in not sending you to state prison tells me that you've climbed a very, very high hurdle to be here today and be in a position to get probation," Noonan said.
A member of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force who suffered minor injuries in a scuffle with Tiberio-Shepherd in April initially told the court the young man should be sent to prison, but after meeting with Tiberio-Shepherd the detective wrote to Noonan and said he supported the recommendation for probation.
Tiberio-Shepherd has been attending Genesee Community College and getting good grades. He plans to enroll at Buffalo State University in the fall.
Noonan also received letters of support from several people in the community and the pre-sentence report by Genesee Justice recommended probation.
In all, Tiberio-Shepherd was sentenced to five years probation each on the drug charge and the DWI conviction, and three years probation on the assault.
He faces repayment of fines and restitution, plus his driver's license was revoked.
"I've noticed he hasn't gotten all cocky about his treatment progress and he seems to accept the fact that this is something he is going to have to work hard doing for a long period of time, which is not only sobriety, but criminal-free living, which he intends to do," said his attorney, Thomas Burns.
In a brief statement to the court, Tiberio-Shepherd, thanked Noonan for the chance to turn his life around.