AUBURN | Matthew Tyson was feeling desperate.
After an accident left him with a crushed ankle, the Weedsport man was no longer able to work, forcing him to move back into his parents' home. And with a young son to take care of and plenty of bills to pay, Tyson felt anxious and depressed.
So when he saw two unattended chainsaws at a Brutus mobile home park's maintenance garage, he decided to take them.
"I was driving through the park, saw the maintenance garage open, saw the chainsaws laying on the floor and took them," he said when pleading guilty on April 24.
Soon after Tyson stole the chainsaws from the Kenyon Landing maintenance garage, he was pulled over by New York State Police. He immediately admitted his guilt and returned the power tools.
In exchange for pleading guilty to third-degree burglary, a felony, Tyson faced a sentence of jail time followed by probation.
But after spending nearly the past few weeks getting his life back on track, the 30-year-old man is getting a second chance.
Prior to Tyson's sentencing Tuesday morning in Cayuga County Court, Assistant District Attorney Christopher Schlecht explained that, after working with the defendant, the probation department recommended Tyson serve a sentence of five years straight probation without going to jail.
Explaining that the Sept. 28 arrest appeared to be Tyson's first and there was no restitution to be paid, Schlecht did not oppose the reduced recommendation.
"Everything that was stolen was recovered," he said.
Simon Moody, the defendant's attorney, supported the probation department's recommendation, pointing to Tyson's debilitating injury and immediate willingness to take responsibility for his actions.
"My client admitted his guilt from the outset," he said.
Prior to his accident, Moody said that Tyson, of 114 Stonehedge Drive, was a hardworking, law-abiding member of society. After stealing the chainsaws, he said Tyson realized he needed to amend his behavior.
"This has really been an eye-opener for him," Moody said.
"It was just kind of a low period in my life," he said. "Things were piling up, things were backing up, so I made a dumb act in a moment of disparity."
After reading several letters submitted on Tyson's behalf, Judge Mark Fandrich decided to go with the probation department's recommendation, sentencing Tyson to five years probation.
"I'm willing to give you that opportunity," Fandrich said, explaining he hoped Tyson would become a better man.