Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announces that Erie County Court Judge Thomas P. Franczyk affirmed the conviction but reduced the sentence of 40 year-old John Pieri, 40, of 49 Wendel Avenue, Tonawanda, NY.
On March 6, 2009, in Amherst, NY, Pieri (the passenger) was charged with Criminal Solicitation for encouraging Andrea Glinski (the driver) to leave the scene of an accident after Glinski’s vehicle stuck and seriously injured Amy Stewart. In a case of first impression--no passenger had been previously prosecuted for soliciting the driver to leave the scene--Pieri was convicted as charged after trial and sentenced by the lower court judge to one year at the Erie County Correctional Facility, the maximum sentence permitted by law. Pieri’s conviction was, however, overturned on a legal technicality.
Pieri pleaded guilty as charged before his re-trial commenced and was sentenced to a term of probation, the first 30 days of which were served at the Erie County Correctional Facility. Despite the substantial reduction in his sentence (from twelve months to one month), Pieri repeatedly and publicly consumed alcohol in violation of his probation conditions. Accordingly, Pieri was found guilty of violating his probation and resentenced to one year at the Erie County Correctional Facility by the lower court judge.
On appeal, Judge Franczyk reduced the sentence to a term of ten months, noting that although Pieri’s behavior was wanting for human decency and compassion, the defendant lacked a prior criminal record and was gainfully employed. The judgment of conviction, which was for the highest sustainable charge, was otherwise affirmed.