For Schorr: DA misleading folks about Sanchez plea

Dan Schorr won’t let this one go.

Schorr, the Republican candidate for Westchester County District Attorney, held a second press conference today about the Aug. 18 plea agreement for convicted girlfriend beater David Sanchez.

Schorr, who has criticized DA Janet DiFiore for “easy plea bargains,” produced a transcript from Sanchez’s sentencing that he said refutes the DA’s claim that there was no reduced plea and that the DA’s office was not involved in the decision to hand Sanchez a five-year sentence.

Sanchez, who was a psych patient at Sunset House in Thornwood, was dating one of the counselors there when one night, he held her captive in her own car, torturing her for hours and threatening to kill her. Sanchez was indicted for attempted murder and other felonies, but the DA’s office allowed him to plead to felony assault. Read the story here.

The sentence was criticized by the victim in her written statement to the court, and lambasted by those who read the story on LoHud.com. Schorr called a press conference a few days later and publicly joined the critics.

DiFiore’s office then sent out a written statement arguing that first-degree assault and attempted murder are equal under the law: “There was no reduced plea in this case. Mr. Sanchez plead guilty to assault in the first degree, a “B” violent Felony, the highest level of crime charged in his indictment. Assault in the first degree carries the same penalty as attempted murder and the same penalty that would have been imposed had Mr. Sanchez been found guilty after a trial. As Mr. Schorr must be aware, on top charge convictions, the Court makes sentence determinations, not the District Attorney’s office.”

Today, Schorr pointed to the transcript showing that three different times, the prosecutor refers to the plea deal as a “negotiated plea” and the judge referred to the case as an “agreed-upon plea.” Schorr argued that this proves the DA’s office agreed to the five-year sentence and that the judge was simply honoring the plea deal that was negotiated by both sides.

He also noted that Sanchez asked to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial — where a jury could have given him the max — but the prosecution objected, opting for the 5-year agreement.

“Her office released misleading and false statements,” he said. “That’s unconscionable.”

Click here to read the transcript of the sentencing. WARNING: Some parts of the transcript are graphic descriptions of violence by the victim.

For Schorr: Follow-up response

Dan Schorr, the Republican candidate for Westchester County District Attorney, had a few words for sitting District Attorney Janet DiFiore’s claim that the judge, not her office, was responsible for David Sanchez getting five years in prison for brutally beating his ex-girlfriend in Thornwood last year:

“Ms. DiFiore’s claim that it she is not responsible for Mr. Sanchez receiving a mere 5 years in prison for his heinous crimes is a complete distortion of the law. A defendant indicted for attempted murder is not permitted under the law to plead guilty to any other charge or sentencing recommended by the court without the consent of the DA’s office. A violent criminal will be free in 5 short years and this plea never would have been consented to if I was the district attorney on this case.”

For Schorr: Only five years?!

Dan Schorr, the Republican candidate for Westchester County District Attorney, held a news conference today at the Westchester County Courthouse to condemn how DA Janet DiFiore’s handled the case of David Sanchez, who is serving five years in prison for brutally attacking his ex-girlfriend last year.

Sanchez, who was a psych patient at Sunset House in Thornwood, was dating one of the counselors there when one night, he held her captive in her own car, torturing her for hours and threatening to kill her. Sanchez was charged and later indicted for attempted murder and other felonies, but the DA’s office allowed him to plead to felony assault if he agreed to the five-year prison sentence. Read the story here.

The sentence was criticized by the victim in her written statement to the court, and blasted by those who read the story on LoHud.com. Schorr, a former domestic violence prosecutor, has been a consistent critic of what he describes as “easy plea bargains” handed out by the DA’s office and has taken other dispositions to task, such as the 8-year prison stint given to career criminal and prolific burglar Kahlil Gonzalez.

Janet DiFiore sent out a written statement defending her office’s decision by arguing that first-degree assault and attempted murder are equal under the law:

“This case was aggressively prosecuted. There was no reduced plea in this case. Mr. Sanchez plead guilty to assault in the first degree, a “B” violent Felony, the highest level of crime charged in his indictment. Assault in the first degree carries the same penalty as attempted murder and the same penalty that would have been imposed had Mr. Sanchez been found guilty after a trial. As Mr. Schorr must be aware, on top charge convictions, the Court makes sentence determinations, not the District Attorney’s office.”

Sentencing week in Westchester

Starting tomorrow, five convicted felons are set to receive their prison sentences in Westchester County. As often happens in court, any of the sentencings can be re-scheduled, but here’s the expected lineup:

Wednesday, before acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary

Shand Nash, convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting of a Mount Vernon man in the throat after a heated argument.

UPDATE: Nash was sentenced to 22 years in state prison.

Adalberto Marquez, a Yonkers taxi driver convicted of sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment for molesting a female passenger at knife-point.

UPDATE: Marquez was sentenced to 7 years in state prison, the maximum allowed by law.

Thursday, before state Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler

Dequan Duncan, who fatally stabbed a Yonkers cab driver to beat an $8 fare. Pleaded guilty to murder and agreed to serve 18 years to life but then hired a new lawyer to rescind the plea deal.

UPDATE: Duncan was sentenced to 18 years, per the plea deal, but his family plans to appeal.

Friday, before state Supreme Court Justice William Wetzel

David Greene, convicted of murder for the drive-by shooting of a Yonkers man who criticized Greene’s driving and cursed him on the street. Read the story here.

UPDATE: Greene was sentenced to 23 years in state prison.

David Sanchez, who brutally attacked a staff counselor whom he was dating at Sunset House in Thornwood, a psychiatric group home where he lived. Pleaded guilty to felony assault.

UPDATE: Sanchez was sentenced to 5 years in state prison, per the plea deal.