Man receives sentencing for aggravated family offense conviction (County Court)

Cortland County Courthouse. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

A Cortland County man received his sentencing for his aggravated family offense conviction.

In Cortland County Court on Thursday, Matthew D. Cranston, 29 of McGraw, was sentenced to three years of probation for his conviction of aggravated family offense. 

Cranston received an interim sentencing for a year of probation on Sept. 15, 2022, which means he will be on probation until 2025. He entered a plea agreement with the county district attorney’s office on June 7, 2022, according to chief assistant district attorney Chris Simser on Thursday.

According to court documents and arrest reports, Cranston in May 2022 had slapped, strangled and punched a female victim. This incident occurred while in the presence of children, court docs noted.

Along with aggravated family offense, Cranston was originally charged with second-degree strangulation, third-degree assault and a handful of counts for endangering the welfare of a child.

Court docs stated that the aggravated family offense charge was brought upon when Cranston was also charged with third-degree assault, after he was convicted of a previous offense within a five-year period. Cranston was convicted of second-degree aggravated harassment in Cortland city court in 2017, court docs noted.

In court on Thursday, county judge Julie Campbell read the pre-sentencing report on Cranston. Campbell noted from the report that during his year of probation, Cranston successfully completed a county mental health program, didn’t get arrested, made his court appearances, cooperated with probation officers and maintained employment.

“He’s using coping skills and managing his emotions in the moment,” Campbell said via the pre-sentencing report.

Zela Brotherton, Cranston’s defense attorney, said on Thursday that his client has “thought deeply” about the relationship he wants with his family.

Brotherton added that the probation will continue “to provide oversight” for Cranston.

“He had to make a plan of action for what to do so his goals of being a good partner and father matched with reality,” Brotherton said. “Mr. Cranston has faithfully (abided) by the conditions of the probation.”

Campbell noted that the victim opposed a plea reduction or sentencing “of any kind” for Cranston. However, Campbell added, Cranston has “carried out his end of the bargain.”

“The court is not in a position to turn back the clock, or refuse to afford him that bargain,” Campbell said.

Cranston declined to comment on his sentencing. An order of protection is in place for the victim.