CANTON — A Rochester man sent to prison on charges related to drugs and assault pleaded for a lesser sentence, claiming he was a product of his environment.
Olajuwan J. Holt, 20, was sentenced to 3½ years in prison after his May 9 guilty plea to criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony, and second-degree assault, a class D violent felony.
On April 15, 2013, Holt, also known as “Fraido,” entered the home of Michael J. Wells, 1130 Ford St., Ogdensburg, produced a large, fixed-blade knife and stabbed Mr. Wells in the chest and in his side before fleeing on foot.
Mr. Wells was treated at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Cente for two stab wounds and was released.
Police found Holt at 11 p.m. the same day in an upstairs bedroom of a house on Mill Street, Ogdensburg. He was found in possession of several capsules of oxycodone and more than 25 grams of marijuana stored in four sandwich bags.
In St. Lawrence County Court on Friday, Holt’s attorney, Bradford C. Riendeau, told St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards in regard to his client that “the world he lives in is a very difficult one.”
Holt had conducted his criminal activity because he “believes he has to provide for his children” and his options were few, he said. “In the world he lives in, these are the opportunities that presented themselves,” Mr. Riendeau said.
But Holt also has made an attempt at getting a college degree and was “a young man with a lot of potential” if he were steered in the right direction, Mr. Riendeau said.
Given the opportunity to address the court, Holt expressed remorse for his actions and for his treatment of Mr. Wells.
While he told Judge Richards he took complete responsibility for his actions, he said he made an effort at college credits, but “saw there was no way out” and turned to criminal activity.
Holt said he was looking to move forward with his life and requested a shorter sentence “to sprout and be the young man I know I can be.”
Judge Richards told Holt he was bound to a plea agreement and had no legal basis to change the sentence. In addition to his prison sentence, Mr. Holt was sentenced to three years of post-release supervision and was ordered to pay $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.