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.