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Waite sentenced to 25 years to life

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Albany/HV: Waite sentenced to 25 years to life
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A Glens Falls man will spend 25 years to life behind bars in connection with his son's death. Gary Waite was sentenced in Warren County court Thursday afternoon. Innae Park has more.

WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. -- "I wish it had turned out differently. I wish I was more stronger to call 911. I'm completely sorry," Gary Waite said.

Those were the words of a father sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

"When this child was mortally wounded and in pain and in anguish, he did nothing," said Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan.

While the details aren't clear, Gary Waite was found guilty of second degree murder in the death of his 15-month-old son, Jesse Smith, in February of last year.

"Even if he gave a little bit about being guilty for what he did, would've made us feel better too. But we have to settle with this," said Tricia Genier, the victim's aunt.

"He doesn't express himself well. That was his attempt to show some remorse," said Marc Zuckerman, Waite's attorney.

The aunt of the child read a victim impact statement in court, as his mother was hospitalized with a severe case of the flu.

"They say as time goes by, it gets easier. It will never get easier," Genier said.

As she spoke, the Glens Falls man wiped away a tear.

Zuckerman said, "He tried to save his life the best he could. That all happened because of the actions of my client. This case will be fought in the appellate court. That's where this case needs to go, where it will get unemotional examination of the law and the facts in front of judges, rather than jurors."

Having already gone through one appeals process where the murder charge was dropped and then reinstated, the family believes otherwise.

"We won the appeals the first time. I think we're going to win this," said Tammie Rivers, the victim's grandmother.

The notice of appeal has already been filed.

This isn't Waite's first run-in with the law, according to the District Attorney. Hogan says he has had previous convictions and is a registered sex offender.

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