Woman who handed gun to teen in Central Avenue incident given agreed-upon two-year prison term
|Jennifer K. Urvizu- Hanlon|
A local former businesswoman who admitted to giving a loaded firearm to a 17-year-old boy, who then shot and wounded a man who had just stabbed and killed another man on Central Avenue on May 17, 2018, told Judge Charles Zambito today that she's not a threat to the community.
Jennifer K. Urvizu-Hanlon, 48, mentioned the letters Zambito had received supportering her, her involvement in her church, her steady employment and her lack of criminal record.
Zambito saw something else.
"I do think you are minimizing what happened," Zambito said. "You're minimizing your involvement. Samuel Blackshear would not be in prison and Nathanial Wilson would not have been shot had you not handed your loaded firearm to a 17-year-old boy. That young man is in prison now because of you. And after that happened, after a man was killed and another wounded, you went home.
"I do consider you a risk to the community but under the circumstances, I'm prepared to accept the plea offer and go along with the sentence. You're being treated entirely fairly here. I don't think it's right for you to even suggest otherwise."
Urvizu-Hanlon, the former owner of a small Mexican grocery store on West Main Street in Batavia, accepted a plea deal in May that capped her prison term to two years on an attempted criminal possession of a weapon conviction.
More than a dozen people in the gallery, friends, and family, were there, it appeared, to support Urvizu-Hanlon, which Zambito also acknowledged.
Zambito said he seriously considered rejecting the plea arrangement because she should perhaps get at least three and a half years in prison, which is the term Blackshear received.
"You got a significant break here," Zambito said. "Perhaps that is because of your minimal involvement in the incident and your clean record."
On Thursday evening in May, Nathaniel Wilson stabbed and killed Terry Toote at Central and Pringle. As the stabbing was taking place, Urvizu-Hanlon arrived in her car and Blackshear approached the car and she gave her handgun, which she was licensed to carry, to Blackshear, who immediately fired at Wilson, hitting him in the leg.
Blackshear's attorney argued at his sentencing that he was acting to protect himself and others from a killer. Zambito rejected that contention, accusing Blackshear of exercising "street justice" before denying him youthful offender status and sending him to prison.
That defense isn't available to Urvizu-Hanlon under the current statute for attempted criminal possession of a weapon but her attorney, Christian Kenndey, said the Legislature is considering a change, and that it could be said Urvizu-Hanlon was justified in giving Blackshear the gun so he could protect others from a killer.
Wilson was later sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison for the murder of Toote.
As in the Blackshear case, Zambito said he was fully aware of the May 17 incident. He had seen all the video recordings, read the witness statements, and felt he had a complete picture of what happened that evening.
He said there was nothing spontaneous about events on Central Avenue as the incident went down. The confrontation, the expectation of violence, was all premeditated.
"You knew what was going to happen," Zambito said. "I don't think you thought Terry Toote was going to get murdered but you went there under the impression there was going to be confrontation and you were ready to take action."
Once the sentence was pronounced and the paperwork complete, a deputy stepped behind Urvizu-Hanlon -- dressed in a gray blouse covered by a black windbreaker, a long skirt, and flip-flops -- and asked her to place her hands behind her back. For a moment, the only sound in the courtroom was the metallic zip of the cuffs closing around her wrists. As she was led away, somebody at the back of the room yelled, "Love you, Jen."