Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Michael Alig: The Life and Death of the Party

Sentencing

Alig and Freeze were brought to the courtroom to face the judge in New York County Supreme Court on October 1, 1997. A small gaggle of club supporters sat in the courtroom. Angel's family members, as well as Alig and Freeze's family members, all missed the court date. Justice William Wetzel asked if the two had anything to say about their crime.

Freeze stood up and read from a long letter. It was a letter expressing sorrow, repentant in its tone. It was clear that Freeze regretted what he had done. It read in part: "That I was a party to the death of another human being wounds me in the depths of my heart and soul. I can never undo that. I endeavor to understand the aspects of myself that led me down such a gross and destructive path, but I have yet to come to any definitive conclusions..." He pointed out that he, Alig, and Angel, were all victims of drugs.

Michael Alig
Michael Alig

The judge acknowledged Freeze's letter, and sentenced him to ten to 20 years for manslaughter in the first degree.

When it was Alig's turn, the deposed club king froze, as he watched his lawyer battle back and forth with the judge for a delayed sentencing hearing, pending a psychiatric evaluation. When the motion was denied, the judge turned to Alig and asked if he had a statement.

Alig, high from the drugs he'd ingested, including Trazadone, Klonopin, and Depakote, should have been speechless, as that would certainly have been better than what he did say:

"I came here today not prepared to accept my sentence, I so I didn't come with a speech because I was told we were going to postpone for another week, two weeks, or something like that, I don't know. All I know is I've been told lots of different things by lots of different people in exchange for me doing other things, and none of it has come true. I feel like I have been just railroaded. I have been used by the feds. When they were through with me, they sent me over here I feel like I have been lied to here to get me to accept this plea."

He added, almost as an afterthought. "And I feel terrible that I don't have anything prepared to say."

The judge had no patience for Alig's whiny behavior. "You are the victim?" he asked Alig.

"In a way," said Alig.

"I don't think you are the victim. I think that Angel Melendez is the victim. He is the victim of your selfish, uncontrolled ego that has yet to be harnessed, that has yet to face reality. For you, the show is over. The party is over."

And with a bang of the gavel, Alig was also sentenced to ten to 20 years.

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