Judge overrules jury, imposes lighter sentence in malicious wounding case
A jury found 23-year-old Anthony Lee Perry Jr. guilty of a 2009 stabbing on Jan. 21 and recommended he spend five years in prison. Judge J. Howe Brown thought otherwise during Perry’s sentencing on May 6—opting for two years in prison and three years suspended.
“There are a number of conflicting interests in this case,” Brown said. “If I sentence [Perry] for less than five years, I can hold onto him longer through probation—that gives the court much longer to see if he makes something with himself.”
The five years recommended by the jury were the maximum allowed for a malicious wounding charge.
Perry stood and addressed the courtroom for several minutes while he attempted to convince Brown to go for a lighter, parole-heavy sentence.
“Even though I can’t take back what I did, I’m extremely sorry,” Perry said, even turning at one point to address Denise Gerardo Aragon Olievar, also 23, the victim in Perry’s botched 2009 mugging. “This man got hurt, he went to the hospital. That’s not me, that’s not who I am. I never meant to harm him.”
The prosecuting attorney, who had pointed out that Perry forged documents to stay out of jail for a probation violation—leading to the mugging, was notably disappointed after Brown’s sentence came down.
“This man lied to the court,” the prosecuting attorney, who declined comment following the sentencing, said to Brown.
At the time of the stabbing, Perry should have been in jail for a series of parole violations—a judge had originally imposed several months for the violations, but Perry brought forth two documents that said he was undergoing physical therapy, and the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center was unable to meet his therapy needs.
After an investigative report by the Loudoun Independent revealed the documents were falsified, prosecutors brought Perry back before a judge and the 11-month balance of his prison sentence was put into effect. Perry was also found in contempt of court.
Olievar, who was airlifted and hospitalized following the attack, was also unpleased with the verdict.
“I don’t feel well about it at all,” Olievar said through a translator. “[He deserved] five years. I don’t know why the judge made that decision.”
Perry’s lawyer, Michael J. Harrington, was unreachable for comment following the sentencing, but claims that Perry has learned from his mistakes.
“This is a different person standing in front of you today,” Harrington said, gesturing towards the red-and-white uniformed Perry. “He’s different.”