ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca man Corbin Whyte was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday afternoon after being found with multiple guns and ammunition in his vehicle nearly a year ago.

Whyte, 32, pleaded guilty to felony second-degree criminal possession of a weapon on Jan. 30. In addition to the jail time, he’ll serve five years of post-release supervision.

He was initially indicted on 15 charges, after police say they found more than $1,000 in cash, prescription pills, seven guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition when they pulled Whyte over near the intersection of West Seneca and North Albany streets.

Whyte was wanted on a warrant at the time, and officers said they recognized the smell of marijuana and saw a gun in the driver’s side door-pocket of the vehicle.

Whyte claimed that he did not know the guns were in the vehicle.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia said during sentencing, “He might as well be saying he didn’t notice an elephant sitting in the backseat and a giraffe riding shotgun.”

Bonavia said, “It’s frightening to think what Mr. White was going to do with all those weapons and ammunition…”

Judge John Rowley mirrored those comments, saying, “It gives the appearance that you are armed for war.”

He said it appears that Whyte was prepared to be attacked and it’s the people in Tompkins County who could have been caught in the crossfire of a possible shooting.

Rowley called the find a “gut check” to people about the kind of violence happening in Ithaca.

But Whyte refuted those claims against him.

“I just want to say I’m not a monster,” Whyte said, adding that he’d incorrectly been painted as a bad person.

He said that despite his previous convictions, he is a father, brother and business owner in the community.

In the front row of the courtroom gallery, his months old daughter — a giggly baby clad in pink — was visibly happy to see Whyte as he entered the courtroom.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.