Tyrone Ford was once on the right track. He was a gospel music star who got a president’s attention as a child, sank into drug use and crime as an adult and was asking for another in a series of chances to show he could change his life.
Tyrone Ford got that opportunity Friday, when a judge shortened his parole by a potential three years because of changes in New York’s once famously harsh drug laws.
“I thank the court for reconsideration,” Ford said, sounding humble but upbeat. He now could get off parole in 2016, instead of 2019.
Minutes later, he was handcuffed and taken back to jail, where he was serving three months on a parole violation — the latest stumble in a life that has veered between promise and problems.
“This was not an easy matter to determine. You had a lot of chances, and you know you haven’t taken advantage of all of them,” Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Roger Hayes told Ford. “I think you’ve made some mistakes in judgment. And I think you recognize them.”