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Goetz Sentencing Today on Weapon Possession Charge

October 19, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — Subway gunman Bernhard H. Goetz will be sentenced today by state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Crane for criminal possession of a weapon.

The thin, bespectacled electronics specialist, who shot and wounded four young men with his silver pistol on a Manhattan subway train Dec. 22, 1984, after one of them demanded $5, faces up to seven years in prison.

The felony charge carries a minimum sentence of probation. In six out of 10 cases, defendants do not get jail time for the crime.

The Probation Department has recommended that Goetz, who is free on $5,000 bail, not go to jail but suggested that he be ordered to undergo psychiatric counseling.

Cleared of Other Charges

Goetz, 39, was convicted of the charge on June 16 but cleared of more serious charges of attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment in the controversial case.

Goetz, who had been seriously injured in a mugging four years earlier, contended that he shot the youths in self-defense to escape another attack.

He was hailed as a hero by many crime-weary Americans who saw him as a little guy fighting back against thugs terrorizing law-abiding citizens.

The prosecutor, Gregory Waples, has asked the judge to give Goetz "substantial prison time," charging that he suffers from longstanding emotional disorders.

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