Nike KD 7 tampering with evidence and evading responsibility
LITCHFIELD A Bethel man with a long record of alcohol and drug related arrests faces up to 14 years in prison for the hit and run death of a decorated Danbury police officer on Route 7 in New Milford last year.
showed reluctance as he pleaded guilty to three felony charges at state here Thursday morning under the Alford Doctrine, which means he doesn’t admit running down Donald Hassiak as the officer bicycled to work on the night of June 3, 2010, but acknowledges he probably would have been convicted had the case gone to trial.
“You’re making faces, you’re grunting. It’s obvious to everyone except you,” Ginocchio said after O’Neill hesitantly answered “Guilty” when a court clerk recited the charges.
“I’m not going to allow your plea unless you are able to do it in a proper manner,” Ginocchio said. “Let’s start over.”
Handcuffed, shackled and wearing a white T shirt and khaki prison trousers, O’Neill never raised his head or looked around the courtroom, but after consulting with his attorney, , he responded in a clear voice without additional cautions from the judge.
Ginocchio set sentencing for Nov. 10.
Police said O’Neill was highly intoxicated when officers found him four hours later, sleeping in a broken down van at a construction site in Bethel, and there were also indications O’Neill had been drinking prior to the crash.
People who knew the 48 year old carpenter told police that Jordan Retro 9 O’Neill had a long history of alcohol and drug abuse, according to court documents previously made public, and his ex wife said he was proud of his ability “to drink and party for days at a time.”
But investigators couldn’t prove O’Neill was drunk when the accident happened, so he was only charged with misconduct with a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence and evading responsibility.
Those charges each normally carry maximum penalties of up to five years in prison, but because O’Neill was free on Air Jordan 18s bond as the result of a previous arrest in Danbury, Shepack was able to seek an enhanced penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment on each of the offenses.
The prosecutor recommended a total sentence of 30 years behind bars, suspended after O’Neill serves 14 years, plus five years of probation.
O’Neill still faces charges for another hit and run accident in Bethel a week before Hassiak was killed. But under Thursday’s plea agreement, Air Jordan Fusion 5 the sentence for the Bethel crash is to run concurrently with the sentence ordered on Thursday.
As part of the conditions of probation, Shepack said O’Neill should be required to undergo drug and alcohol treatment after release from prison and be barred from driving during probation.