UTICA - A Utica man has been sentenced for stabbing another man to death in a John Street apartment back in March.
Wednesday morning the tragic backstory was told in Oneida County Court, minutes before 35-year-old Edmond Hyatt walked off to prison for a very long time.
Victim Nicholas White's mother has planned to speak on behalf of her family, but instead chose to have First Assistant District Attorney Michael Coluzza convey what she wanted Hyatt and the court to know about her son. White’s mother said he was in a rough patch when he was killed – unemployed and sleeping in different locations from night to night. She says he struggled with substance abuse that started with a prescription drug addiction after a car accident. But White's mother wanted the court, and the man who killed him, to know that he was much more than that.
"Nicholas White was a loving son and brother. He was, at a better time in his life, a hardworking carpenter. He had a family that loved and cared about him," said Colluzza.
Colluzza said there were eyewitnesses who said Hyatt walked into an apartment upstairs from his own, wielding a kitchen knife in each hand, convinced that someone in the apartment had intruded in his apartment. Colluzza says White when White tried to protect and defend others in the room.
Asked by Judge Robert Bauer if he had anything to say, Hyatt shook his head 'no'.
Hyatt's sentence in exchange for his guilty plea to second degree murder will be 22 years to life in state prison. He waived his right to appeal as part of the plea agreement.