GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – Gary Waite, a Glens Falls man found guilty of murder, manslaughter, and endangering the welfare of a child, was sentenced Thursday.
Waite was sentenced to 25 years to Life in State Prison for 2nd Degree Murder charge, the maximum sentence.
A victim impact statement was read in court on Thursday from Jesse's aunt, because the mother has been hospitalized for the flu.
"I dropped Jesse off on that day in February 2012, to Gary Waite, who was supposed to be a loving father," said Tricia Genier, Jesse's Aunt, reading a letter from Jesse's mother, Lisa Younes.
During the statement, Jesse's aunt asked for the maximum sentence.
Following the sentencing, Jesse's family gathered outside of the courtroom. Although the family said they are relieved with the sentencing, they are also upset that they did not receive a full apology from Waite.
"He didn't say he was sorry. It would've been nice if he had said sorry to my sister," said Genier.
Waite's defense attorney said that he does plan to appeal this decision, saying his client didn't deserve the maximum sentence in this case.
"We've been waiting for two years," said the child's mother, Lisa Younes, after the verdict was handed down in November. "I'm happy Jesse got justice and if he hadn't I would've fought for it still."
During the course of the trial, the jury heard graphic testimony about the extent of the boy's fatal injuries. Police say Waite allegedly confessed to throwing the boy on the couch where he then fell and hit his head on the floor, leading to a severe head injury and death.
During closing arguments, Waite's Attorney Marc Zuckerman told jurors that they did not have enough information or evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Waite didn't care about his son Jessie Smith.
"He was extremely concerned, upset, and hysterical. You heard the descriptions they came from the police," said Zuckerman.
But DA Kate Hogan told the eight-man four-woman jury, that Waite did not seek immediate medical care for Smith as he was clinging to life.
"He didn't do anything. He was choosing to protect himself as he documents in text messages his child dying before his very eyes," she said.
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