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Probation violation lands man in prison

| May 11, 2005 12:00 AM

A 23-year-old man given a suspended sentence last spring for apparently trying to shoot someone with a stolen gun that turned out to be unloaded is headed to prison after admitting to probation violations.

Daniel Keith Kuykendall's six-year suspended sentence was converted by District Judge Michael Prezeau on Monday to six years in prison, with credit given for time spent in custody but not for time on probation. He had previously admitted to threatening another person with a knife during a drunken altercation at a bar in Darby and to not making any payments toward $894.50 in court-ordered restitution, both representing violations of his probation.

"I went back and looked at the file and it's a pretty sad thing," Prezeau told Kuykendall. "Unless you get a grip on this alcohol thing, you're a dangerous man and you're going to end up in prison for a long time."

Prezeau told Kuykendall he "got a break" when he pointed two handguns at someone outside the Home Bar in Troy in December 2003 and pulled the triggers, but the guns didn't go off.

According to court documents, Kuykendall stole two .22-caliber revolvers out of a vehicle and pointed them at at least two people who confronted him.

One of the victims in the case reported that Kuykendall pulled the triggers on the revolvers in an attempt to fire

them at him, but the guns were not loaded. The police officer who arrested Kuykendall reported in his affidavit that Kuykendall was "extremely intoxicated and uncooperative."

Kuykendall was subsequently beaten by some of the patrons of the bar and lost some of his teeth in the process. The restitution he was ordered to pay was to reimburse the county for medical costs.

Kuykendall pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon in exchange for a recommendation from the county attorney's office for a six-year deferred imposition of sentence, which would have given him the chance to have the offense removed from his record. Prezeau refused to give Kuykendall that opportunity and instead handed down a suspended sentence, which would remain on his record. The judge expressed reluctance in delivering the lenient sentence, saying, "I'm going to have to hold my nose to do that."

Kuykendall's court-appointed attorney, Ann German, pointed out to Prezeau at the time of the plea agreement that the case represented Kuykendall's first adult felony although he had an extensive juvenile criminal history. Prezeau noted that Kuykendall also had three misdemeanor assaults on his adult record and said it appeared to him that the only reason he wasn't facing homicide charges was that the guns he stole weren't loaded.

In sentencing Kuykendall to prison on Monday, Prezeau wished him luck and said he hopes for his sake and for the sake of others he will have dealt with his alcohol problem by the time he gets out.