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Albany Man Sentenced for Violent Assault, Burglary During Riot, Illegal Drug Possession, and Subsequent Assault in Jail

Albany County District Attorney David Soares



Press Release

July 30, 2021



Albany Man Sentenced for Violent Assault,

 Burglary During Riot, Illegal Drug Possession,

 and Subsequent Assault in Jail

ALBANY, NY – District Attorney P. David Soares announced today that JAMES BELLAND, 25, of Albany, was sentenced to a total of (12) years in State Prison, to be followed by (5) years of Post-Release Supervision, before the Honorable Roger D. McDonough Albany County Court this morning for his role in multiple offenses that took place in Albany County.

On June 1, 2020 at approximately 11:35 P.M., BELLAND struck a 51-year-old man several times in the head during an incident that occurred in the area of Watervliet Avenue and Hunter Avenue in the City of Albany. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he underwent treatment for serious traumatic brain injuries. The victim remains permanently disabled as a result of the assault.

After leaving the scene of the assault, at approximately 1:40 A.M., while participating in a riot, BELLAND broke in to the Family Dollar Store located at 484 Central Avenue in the City of Albany and remained inside the premises unlawfully. Police arrived on scene where BELLAND resisted arrest. BELLAND was charged with the Burglary and released on his own recognizance at arraignment as the charge was a non-qualifying offense under the 2020 Bail Reform Laws.

After an investigation was conducted, police determined that BELLAND was the assailant in the assault on Watervliet Avenue and he was arrested for Felony Assault in September 2020. At a bail hearing on September 10, 2020, under the procedures set forth in the new bail statute, the Court set bail at $50k cash, $100k bond, or $125k partially secured bond (IOU). BELLAND posted bond and was released.

On March 28, 2021, while out on bond, BELLAND was operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license on Washington Avenue in the City of Albany. During the arrest police officers found BELLAND to be in illegal possession of over 5 grams of crack cocaine, which was individually wrapped in tie-off baggies and in BELLAND’s pants pocket. Despite being out on bond for felony assault and burglary and failing to appear for court appearances, the Court released BELLAND on his own recognizance at arraignment, as the charges were non-qualifying offenses. The People filed a bail revocation motion which was granted after a hearing, and BELLAND was remanded.

Subsequently, while in custody in June 2021, BELLAND participated in a gang assault that caused physical injury to another inmate, resulting in broken bones, bleeding and severe bruising.

The sentencing today fully satisfies all of the open charges against BELLAND in this jurisdiction.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Joseph Brucato prosecuted this case.

For more information please contact Cecilia Walsh at (518) 275-4710 or [email protected]