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Judge sentences 3 to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Batavia man gets longest punishment at 9 years

Philip R. Ayala

ALBION – Three people were sentenced to state prison today with a Batavia man getting the longest punishment at 9 years of incarceration.

Philip R. Ayala, 30, of Summit Street admitted in a previous court appearance to selling cocaine in Orleans County on March 31. He pleaded guilty on Sept. 14 criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. As a second felony offender, he could have faced a sentence of 2 to 12 years in state prison.

“It’s pretty clear you’re a drug dealer with a very bad record,” said Orleans County Court Judge James Punch. “The only way you will stop is to be incarcerated.”

As part of the plea deal, Ayala’s sentence is capped at 9 years, and Punch gave Ayala the maximum. It will run concurrently as his sentence in Genesee County Court, where Judge Robert Noonan sentenced Ayala to 8 years in state prison in August.

The following were also sentenced this afternoon in County Court:

Philip A. Riley, 32, of Albion was sentenced to 5 years in state prison, the maximum under a plea deal.

Riley on Oct. 5 admitted in court he had heroin and sold it for a profit on April 7. He pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Riley is a second felony offender and has been in the county jail on $100,000 bail since his arrest in July.

A Rochester man with eight alcohol-related offenses was sentenced to the maximum, 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison, for driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Jeffrey Houghtaling, 50, was arrested in Murray by Holley police on Oct. 25 when he was driving erratically with another person’s ID. He had a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit.

Houghtaling has been in treatment for alcohol and mental health, while keeping a full-time job. He said he has been sober for 14 months.

“I’m 50 years old but I have turned the corner,” Houghtaling told Judge Punch. “My commitment is to stay focused.”

Punch responded that Houghtaling has been on probation at least three times before.

“You have a deep-rooted problem,” Punch said. “I would be irresponsible as a judge to let you out again. It just doesn’t get any worse than this as far as DWI goes.”

Houghtaling also is to install an inter-lock device that measures his BAC when he is released from prison.

A Holley woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation. Jennifer McCarthy-Conklin, 39, is a first-time offender. She admitted she had cocaine and sold it from the Holley Hotel on Feb. 27.

She pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

“This is a classic case that calls out for probation but also warrants some punishment,” Punch said.