ONLY ON CVP: A Lyndhurst ex-con who tipped a barmaid $20 during an armed robbery was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Donald Tuohy apologized and read a statement Friday about his failure to overcome alcoholism.
“This could all have been avoided if I just tried harder,” he told a judge in Hackensack. “I should have called people, gone back to meetings, asked for help. Alcohol has taken everything from me, and now my freedom.
“Your honor, if there is a chance for leniency, you won’t regret it.”
Tuohy, 50, said he was “deeply ashamed” and that the people he robbed at gunpoint “didn’t deserve to be treated that way.”
In addition to the Lyndhurst barmaid who received the tip, he admitted trying to hold up another server 11 days earlier in Rutherford.
“I’m desperate. I don’t want to hurt anyone,” Lyndhurst police said Tuohy told the barmaid while pointing an illegal .25-caliber handgun at her during the April 20, 2013 robbery.
She gave him $138 and he gave her a twenty back, police told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.
Defense attorney Jacklyn Medina sought leniency, citing the effect that Tuohey’s work on the 9/11 recovery efforts at Ground Zero had on him.
Her client’s judgement was “severely impaired” because he was drunk during both robberies, Medina said.
Given the opportunity, he would be a sponsor for other alcoholics, she said.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Maria Rockfol complimented Tuohy, who has prior convictions in Bergen County for drug offenses in 1999 and 2000.
“It is rare a defendant stands in court and takes responsibility,” she said.
However, Rockfol said, “This is not his first offense He has four prior convictions. He is using his work in the World Trade Center as an excuse.”
Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian sided with the defense.
“I’m impressed with your attorney’s argument,” the judge told Tuohy. “Even ten years is a lot of time.
“But I disagree with the state. Although your background is problematic, I don’t think your work at the World Trade Center is an excuse. A lot of people who worked down there are suffering in a lot of ways.”
It was a Saturday night around 6:15 when he walked into The Locker Room on Stuyvesant Avenue, Lyndhurst police said at the time. READ MORE….
Tuohy will have to serve at least eight years and five months, under the state’s No Early Release Act, before he’ll be eligible for parole.
“Hopefully, when you get out you will be sober and can go on with your life,” the judge told him.
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