Convicted Albany rioter sentenced over attack that left 1 disabled

Albany County
James Belland mugshot (Albany County Sheriff)

James Belland mugshot (Albany County Sheriff)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to the office of Albany County District Attorney David Soares, James Belland, 25, of Albany had several years added to his prison term when sentenced on Friday for multiple offenses, including leaving another man permanently disabled.

According to Soares’s office, at about 11:30 p.m. on June 1, 2020—the night where a riot took place in the city of Albany—Belland hit a 51-year-old man several times in the head near Watervliet and Hunter Avenues. Police say the victim was treated for serious traumatic brain injuries, and that Belland’s attack left him permanently disabled. The district attorney says Belland wasn’t charged over these allegations for several months.

Authorities say Belland participated in the riot that night. At about 1:40 a.m., they say he broke into Family Dollar on Central Avenue, and resisted arrest when police tried to take him in. He was charged with burglary.

Investigators say they determined later that Belland was the attacker who left the 51-year-old disabled. He was arrested and charged with felony assault in September 2020, and released on bond after a bail hearing.

Next, on March 28, 2021, police said they arrested Belland for driving with a valid license on Washington Avenue. They say they found over 5 grams of crack cocaine—individually wrapped in tie-off baggies—in his pockets. The district attorney’s office filed a bail revocation motion that ultimately put Belland behind bars.

Next, while in custody in June, police said Belland was involved in a gang assault that left another inmate bleeding and bruised with broken bones.

Now convicted on all the charges above, Belland was sentenced Friday morning. He got 12 years in state prison, with five years of parole to follow.

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