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2 brothers get 3 - 4 years for violent Furnari Jewelers robbery in Chicopee; punishment does not fit crime, owner says
By Patrick Johnson, The Republican, October 10, 2013
SPRINGFIELD - Two men involved in a violent robbery of a Chicopee jewelry store last year in which the jeweler was beaten and robbed of $100,000 in gold chains were sentenced to 3 to 4 years in state prison.
The jeweler, Anthony J. Furnari of Furnari Jewelers, 1189 Memorial Drive, on Thursday criticized the sentence as far too lenient, and faulted the courts for never ordering the two robbers to make restitution for his lost property.
“I’m the victim again,” he said.
Brothers Reynoldo Reyes of Chicopee and Jose Reyes-Oquendo of Holyoke accepted a guilty plea for two counts of armed robbery, larceny of a firearm and possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card.
Judge John Ferrara on Wednesday sentenced the pair to concurrent terms of 3 to 4 years on the armed robbery charges, probation on the larceny of a firearm charge, and 18 months in the Hampden County House of Correction on the firearm possession charge.
The house of correction sentence will also be concurrent with the 3 to 4 state prison sentence.
Each gets credit for close to a year that each has already spent in jail between their arrests and the conclusion of the trial, which means the 3 to 4 year sentence will be over in 2 to 3 years.
Nina Furari, daughter of Anthony, said the entire family is upset with the outcome.
“”We’re not happy at all. Definitely not,” she said.
Given the nature of the crime and the physical violence inflicted on her father during the robbery, Nina Furari said she was hoping for a much longer sentence.
“We were hoping for eight to 10 years,” she said.
She wondered how is she not supposed to worry for her father’s safety knowing Reyes and Reyes-Oquendo could be released from jail in as early as two years.
She faulted the judge in the case, as well as the Chicopee police for how they handled the investigation. “The judge and the Chicpee police dropped the ball.”
"The outcome of the trial is very disappointing to me and my family. The light sentence, the fact that no effort was made by the Chicopee police, DA, or judge to apprehend the third party suspect who drove the getaway car or to recover the stolen jewelry tells me is that the police and the court system are not willing to make the necessary efforts to uphold justice," she said. "I feel that this sends the wrong message to the citizens of Western Massachusetts but at the end of the day we are thankful for what's most important and that is the heath and well-being of our family."
Reyes, 27, and Reyes-Oquendo, 23, were charged with robbing the Furnari Jewelry store on Oct. 15, 2012. The two men entered the store and then rushed the counter.
Furnari drew a .38 caliber handgun that he keeps behind the counter and got off several shots as one of the robbers jumped the counter and attacked him.
The robber grabbed the gun and he and Furnari wrestled for it, while the second robber joined in.
Furnari suffered a broken nose, a broken rib and a concussion, and needed several stitches on his face and one of his hands.
Raw video: Furnari Jewelers robbery in Chicopee
Surveillance video of the Furnari Jewelers robbery in October 2012.
Reyes was struck by one of the shots from Furnari’s gun. He and Reyes-Oquendo were able to flee the store with a 6-foot long velvet board of jewelry containing several gold chains that Furnari said contained $100,000 in merchandise.
Reyes was arrested shortly after the robbery when he went to the hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound. Reyes-Oquendo was arrested a week later.
Furnari, contacted Thursday at his jewelry store said the outcome of the trial upset him so much that he was unable to sleep when he went home that night. “It’s a crazy system,” he said.
He said he was upset with the sentence, which he called too lenient, and that there was no effort by prosecutors or the courts to force the two brothers to face up to what they had done.
“(Reyes and Reyes-Oquendo) never told them where the jewelry was, they never said they were sorry, they never said anything about the gun, and they never said who the driver was,” he said.
“And the judge didn’t care,” he said. “As the victims, we have no say whatsoever.”
There was never an effort by the police to recover his jewelry or to find the gun used in the robbery.
All he recovered from the collection of gold chains, which he said took him 30 years to accumulate, was a small amount worth around $4,000 that was spilled in the parking lot as the two robbers ran to the get-away car.
None of it was insured, he said.
“And now it’s gone,” he said.
During the sentencing, Reyes and Reyes-Oquendo showed no remorse over the robbery or what they did to Furnari, he said.
“They are not sorry about what they did,” he said. “If they were they would have said what they did with the jewelry.”
Prosecutor James M. Forsyth of the Hampden District Attorney’s office said a request from the family for restitution was included in the prosecution’s sentencing request.
He said judges in the past have not been inclined to order restitution in cases where someone is sentenced to prison because there is now way to make repayment while behind bars.
The jewelry has never turned up, and although the Funari family claimed the two suspects are hiding it somewhere, there has been no evidence of that, he said. There is no telling what could have happened to the jewelry in the eight days between the robbery and Reyes-Oquendo being taken into custody.