BALLSTON SPA -- A 21-year-old Greenfield man who brutally stabbed his brother and mother in January has pleaded guilty to two felony assault charges and is expected to be sentenced to 7 years in prison.
Matthew R. August pleaded guilty to two charges of first-degree assault on Friday in Saratoga County Court, reversing an earlier plea of not guilty and surprising prosecutors who had anticipated a psychiatric defense.
August's attorney, Terence Kindlon, maintained on Monday that there is a "medical explanation" for the Jan. 8 stabbings, but he said the family sought a plea bargain with the judge so they could know precisely when August would be released from custody.
Had the case been pursued at trial, Kindlon said, the period of incarceration would have been far less certain. August could have been sentenced to as many as 50 years in state prison in the case.
Kindlon said August's mother, Susan Chaplain, and brother, Brandon August, as well as other family members, had rallied around August after the attack at the family's home near the Greenfield Town Hall.
The family wanted August to get treatment and to serve as little jail time as possible, he said.
"They understand that this act came out of nowhere and that, with proper medication, nothing like this will ever happen again in Matthew's life," Kindlon said.
Susan Chaplain and Brandon August have recovered from their physical injuries.
Matthew August has also received treatment and is now doing fine, Kindlon said.
Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy said the judge, and not prosecutors, worked out the details of the plea agreement, but that he was nonetheless satisfied with the outcome.
"We weren't privy to the defendant's mental health status, nor were we privy to the motivation behind the assault, so when a defendant wants to plead guilty, we don't second guess that," Murphy said.
August is expected to be sentenced to a determinate term, which means he will be expected to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. He's already served almost a year in jail, so he could be released in roughly five years.
The Department of Correctional Services will determine where the sentence is served.
August, who remains in custody at the Saratoga County Jail, is also expected to be sentenced to 2 1/2 years of post-release supervision. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 7.