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Springwater explosion suspect sentenced
Springwater, N.Y. -- The man behind a scary situation this summer in Livingston County was sentenced to state prison time Wednesday following a guilty plea last month.
Joseph Martino, 34, was facing the potential of up to seven years in prison. His plea deal includes a sentence of two-and-a-half to five years in prison for a third-degree criminal possession of a weapon conviction. Martinos previous convictions of burglary, grand larceny and other charges in Ontario County make him a second felony offender, which increased his possible sentence.
In July, an overnight explosion at an apartment house in Springwater awoke neighbors and gathered law enforcement official from local, state and federal agencies.
The confusion and unknown had authorities bracing for the worst and treating the situation and investigation as if a terrorist attack was possible. Large amounts of chemicals associated with bombs and explosives were also recovered in the building.
"It turned into a 12-hour ordeal where there were some very trying and scary times," recalled Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey.
(Martino) was never a suspect when first interviewed and we started looking further into the case and it basically turned into, he was a hobbyist who tried to speed up the bomb-making or chemical drying process and there was an unfortunate explosion.
Martino admitted his crime in court and said at sentencing on Wednesday, I take responsibility for what I did.
Martino is a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair for the last 20 years following a dirt bike accident as a teenager.
"His mother and his father and his sister have been here right along and my contacts with him he just wants to get on with this, get over with it, and get out, explained Martinos lawyer, John Parrinello. As you can imagine, being a paraplegic has its own disabling effects on both your thinking sometimes and your actions.
Martinos plea deal also comes with a letter from the U.S. Attorneys Office that states federal charges will not be pursued in this matter.