It was a bit tense in Courtroom 301 today, where a former Eastchester police officer accused of accidentally shooting an acquaintance to death had a pre-trial court appearance before acting state Supreme Court Justice William A. Wetzel.
Supporters of ex-officer James Pileggi and victim Andre Everett showed up, and court officers were talking afterward about the tense stares exchanged by both sides. Eastchester Police Chief Timothy Bonci also came to watch the brief proceedings. No angry words were exchanged, but court officers say they will make sure things continue to stay calm. The case is expected to go to trial in a couple of months.
Everett, a 27-year-old real estate agent, was killed in his driveway in New Rochelle on Nov. 3. He walked out of his house when Pileggi’s white Infiniti pulled up with Pileggi inside. As Pileggi showed off the laser feature of the 9 mm Glock, the gun went off, shooting Everett in the throat as he stood by the rear driver’s-side door.
Pileggi, a 29-year-old Eastchester resident, was charged with second-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 15 years in state prison if convicted. He insists the shooting was a tragic accident, not a crime.
Pileggi, who is free on $50,000 bail, will appear again at the Westchester County Courthouse on June 17 in the Trial Assignment Part.
Photo: James Pileggi