LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A Retsof man was sentenced to more than a year of state prison following a guilty verdict at trial on Felony weapons possession charges. Dansville police who responded to a reported domestic disturbance in Dansville in February 2014 found that he had a novelty metal belt buckle in his pocket, which was shaped like brass knuckles.
On Tuesday, County Judge Robert Wiggins sentenced Christopher Wilmet, 26, to 18 months in state prison and two years of probation as a second felony offender. Wilmet has been to state prison twice before, first for Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and again for Felony sale of marijuana.
Wilmet said at trial in September that since the buckle is too large to actually use as a weapon, the weapons charges are unfounded. However, the jury did not share his thoughts on the matter, and found him guilty within the week. Wilmet said at trial that he possesses many belts and novelty buckles, though most of them are “a bit more subtle,” as he put it.
At one point at trial, defense attorney Christopher Laragy had Wilmet put the buckle on one of his belts as a demonstration that it is in fact a functional buckle, and the prosecution had him put the buckle on his hand as demonstration that it could be used as a weapon. The jury was evidently swayed that the buckle could in fact function as brass knuckles.
It is illegal to possess brass knuckles in New York State, made of either metal or plastic.
PHOTO CAPTION: Brass knuckles. This is not a photo of Wilmet’s belt buckle. Photo from Flickr.com.