Taylor Buckley, 20, was sentenced at a tear-filled hearing in San Francisco Superior Court this morning that drew dozens of family members and friends of the victim, 18-year-old Anthony Giraudo, as well as Buckley’s family and friends.
Buckley agreed to a plea deal last month on an involuntary manslaughter charge for sucker-punching Giraudo during an argument outside the stadium during a Giants game on May 9, 2008.
Giraudo, a baseball player who was a student at Canada College in Redwood City, fell and struck his head on the pavement, and died the next day at San Francisco General Hospital.
His father, Bob Giraudo, spoke at today’s sentencing, calling the death “senseless.”
“There are no words to express the pain my family feels,” he said.
Buckley had been out of custody on bail until pleading guilty on Feb. 10, and Giraudo’s mother, Sherri, described getting late-night phone calls on several occasions from friends who were “hysterical” after seeing Buckley out at parties and concerts.
Five friends of the Giraudo family also spoke at the hearing, with many saying the sentence was too light and admonishing Buckley for his actions, causing Buckley’s mother at one point to storm out of the courtroom.
Before being sentenced, Buckley tearfully apologized to the Giraudos.
“I’m sorry, I truly am,” he said while choking back tears.
Buckley’s attorney, Douglas Horngrad, pointed out that more than 40 letters were submitted to the court by Buckley’s family and friends vouching for his character.
“This is not a time for bitterness or anger,” he said.
However, Judge James Collins said, “The Taylor Buckley in the letters is different from the Taylor Buckley in the probation report,” which showed a young man who was violent and disrespectful and “always with alcohol on board.”
Collins sentenced Buckley to a year in county jail, with 47 days’ credit for time served, and five years’ probation. He added a stipulation requiring that Buckley “not have a drop of alcohol” during the probation period.
Buckley will also have to repay the state more than $9,000 in restitution that it paid to Giraudo’s family.
Collins said he hopes today’s hearing “gives some closure to everybody.”
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News