RACINE — A Racine man has pleaded no contest to an aggravated battery charge and was sentenced to jail time for his role in a July 4 stabbing last year.
Climmie Joe Gaston Sr., 59, of the 2000 block of Washington Avenue, was initially charged with felony counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide with the use of a dangerous weapon and attempted aggravated battery as a repeat offender. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 43 years in prison.
On Tuesday, Gaston pleaded no contest to amended charges of felony aggravated battery and two counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
The state recommended one year of incarceration for count one, 90 days for count two and 90 days for count three — a total of 18 months behind bars for Gaston’s role in the stabbing.
“Given the circumstances surrounding the incident, given Mr. Gaston’s limited criminal record, as well as his age, I believe this is a appropriate recommendation,” Assistant Racine County District Attorney Christopher Steenrod said.
The defense asked Racine County Circuit Judge Faye Flancher to consider a sentence of time served for Gaston’s role in the July 4 incident.
“I do think this is the right way to resolve this case because that gentleman was injured,” Assistant State Public Defender Jamie McClendon said. “I do think it was serious and Mr. Gaston does apologize for injuring that man ... he (Gaston) is now diagnosed with cancer, he is an older gentleman ... he’s been in custody for approximately seven months.”
Gaston apologized for hurting the victim. “I do apologize for not using my better judgment,” he said. “I didn’t mean to hurt nobody.”
Flancher ultimately followed the state’s recommendation. “I think the state’s recommendation in this case is appropriate, sir,” she said. “ I think a disposition of credit for time served would unduly depreciate the serious nature of the underlying cases.”
Gaston received credit for the seven months he has served in jail.
According to the criminal complaint issued by the District Attorney’s Office, on July 4 the victim was fixing his car in a parking lot when Gaston and his cousin came out of an adjacent building and began arguing with the victim and his friend.
The argument escalated and the victim pushed Gaston, causing him to trip and fall backward. Gaston allegedly got up and jumped at the victim and stabbed him in the back a sharp object, believed to be a box cutter.