The family of Patricia Gryczka gathered in Onondaga County Court on Friday before Judge Anthony Aloi for the sentencing of Larry Frank of 6 Pine St., Lot A, Phoenix.
Frank pled guilty to murder in the second-degree murder earlier this month in connection with the death of his sister-in-law.
Nancy Farmer, Gryczyk’s sister, read a victim impact statement on behalf of the family before the court.
“’Patty is missing.’ Those words will haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Farmer, recalling when her sister, Sue, called her on the morning of November 19, 2012. As the day went on Frank also came up missing.
“Deep in our hearts we knew,” Farmer said remembering the family’s reaction to Frank’s disappearance.
Gryczka’s body was discovered in a ravine in LaFayette when a neighbor went to investigate mysterious noises in the woods. Frank was scared off, went home to pack some things and get his dog. He then led police on a high-speed chase as he headed south.
Frank evaded police, but was caught at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania where he used Gryczka’s credit card.
“The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department did a great job quickly investigating any leads they had,” said Assistant District Attorney Melinda McGunnigle.
Farmer described Gryczka as a “beloved sister, aunt, cousin, niece and friend. She was caring and giving.”
On the morning of November 18, Frank went to Gryczka’s house to ask her for money as he had done many times before. This time, she refused.
Frank forced Gryczka to write him a check and then strangled her by placing a plastic bag over her head.
According to McGunnigle, the medical examiners declared strangulation to be the cause of death.
“He had to use a lot of force to cause the injuries that he did,” the ADA added.
Gryczka’s body was discovered around 4 a.m. on November 19.
“She worked hard and saved her money,” said Farmer. “She pinched her pennies and you stole from her. She tried to help you (Frank) and you treated her like trash.”
“[Frank] deserves every second of the 25 to life sentence you are about to impose on him,” McGunnigle told Judge Aloi. “Basically, he committed a brutal murder over $2,500.”
Judge Aloi imposed the maximum sentence allowed by law, an indeterminate sentence with a maximum of life in prison and a minimum of 25 years.
“You should spend the rest of your life in state prison,” said Judge Aloi.
“He won’t last that long in there,” one of Gryczka’s family members called from the gallery as Frank was led away. “I’ll tell you that.”
Meanwhile, Frank’s wife was also indicted and arraigned earlier this month in Onondaga County Court for fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property in regards to some of items she possessed as proceeds of the check Frank forced Gryczka to write.