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August 30, 2022 - 5:26pm

Basom man who admitted to assault in scuffle that injured deputy given seven-year term

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, news, notify, Basom.
Justice Coniglio

Justice Coniglio expressed a little surprise after Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini sentenced him to seven years in prison on an assault conviction.

His understanding from his previous court appearance was that if he followed the judge's orders between the time of his guilty plea and his sentencing, he would get a reduced sentence.

That didn't happen and he wanted to know why.

Cianfrini indicated that wasn't how she remembered the previous appearance but called a recess so the transcript of the prior hearing could be reviewed.

It appears Coniglio misunderstood the judge's instructions.  

Coniglio's plea deal was for his sentences on assault and grand theft to run concurrently if he made his court appearances and stayed out of trouble.  If he didn't, then the sentences could run consecutively. 

In June, Coniglio entered a guilty plea to assault stemming from a July 23 incident on Bloomingdale Road in Basom where law enforcement came to his residence to arrest his brother Jarrett Coniglio for allegedly hitting a neighbor over the head with a bottle.  A scuffle ensued and a police officer was bitten by a K-9.

Defense Attorney Jeremy Schwartz said his client has a drinking problem and that he had been drinking that day.  The police officer who was there to arrest Jarrett, he said, wasn't dressed in a police officer's uniform. In Coniglio's drunken state, he said, he didn't understand the man was there lawfully to arrest his brother.

"I don't think he intended at all to stop an arrest," Schwartz said. "In his intoxicated state, he probably thought he was doing the right thing."

He said his client now recognizes that he was wrong.

That explanation didn't persuade Cianfrini to give Coniglio a lighter sentence.  She told him he was going to prison for seven years on the assault charge.

On the grand theft charge, regarding a vehicle that was reported stolen after it was involved in a fatal collision on Dec. 1 in Erie County, Cianfrini sentenced Coniglio to three to seven years in prison, to run concurrently with the assault term.

In the fatal accident in Erie County, Coniglio has admitted to vehicular manslaughter and will be sentenced in Erie County on Sept. 9.  That is a possible prison term of six to 12 years. Coniglio is accused of having a BAC of .18 percent or greater at the time of the accident.

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