What to Know
Christopher Galardi was shot to death in March 2004 by masked gunmen who stormed the Radio Shack where he worked
Three men were arrested, including the shooter Anthony Ryan, who was on parole at the time for attempted murder of an NYPD officer
Now, after just 12 years behind bars, Ryan is up for parole because of a sentencing quirk -- and Galardi's mom is not the only one outraged
A Long Island mother and retired detective are fighting to keep a convicted killer behind bars after a since-fixed state sentencing quirk has him eligible for early parole.
Anthony Ryans, 50, was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years to life for killing 30-year-old cashier Christopher Galardi at a Radio Shack in March 2004. At the time, Ryans was on parole for attempted murder of an NYPD officer. Now, after just 12 years behind bars for killing Galardi, he's up for early parole.
Galardi's mother Monica learned about the hearing from a letter. She said she cried all day long.
"I was hysterical, you know, I couldn't believe it, you know," she said.
Ryans was one of three masked gunmen who stormed the store in Bohemia where Galardi was behind the counter. Galardi triggered the alarm and Ryans shot him in the stomach; he later died in the hospital.
When Ryans was sentenced, a judge called his actions "unconscionable and unforgivable." But "the court failed to specify" that his term should begin after he served the full time for shooting the police officer, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision told the I-Team.
Ryans' new conviction thus ran concurrently with his previous conviction, and he received 11 years of credit toward his sentence in the Galardi case. That law was changed in 2009 requiring convictions to run consecutively.
But as far as Ryans case, the impact was set.
Galardi had been blinded in one eye and paralyzed when he was hit by a car at the age of 11; he faced tough challenges throughout his life, but refused to let his disabilities hold him back, according to this mother.
The young man's death hit hard for John McLeer, a former Suffolk County detective who worked on the case. And the retired detective is joining the Galardi family in testifying at Ryans’ first parole hearing in August in an effort to make sure the killer remains behind bars.
“The spirit of the law is being lost here," McLeer said. "And it’s not only being lost, it’s being disregarded. I just can’t believe that there’s not a way to say it shouldn’t have happened this way, or there’s an administrative oversight and correct it. It’s just hard to swallow that."
Even if the parole board keeps Ryans in prison, state parole laws mean he will have another opportunity to get out two years from now -- and every two years after that. Monica Galardi is outraged.
“You know that’s not right," she said. "I just hope this never ever happens to anyone else 'cause it’s terrible."
The I-Team was unable to reach an attorney for Ryans.