In the middle of a heated cross-examination of former Eastchester Police Officer James Pileggi this morning came this amusing moment:
Pileggi, on trial for second-degree manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of his friend, Andre Everett, was trying to explain how he and his friends greeted Everett on the night of the shooting. Assistant District Attorney Fredric Green asked Pileggi what he meant when he said they “exchanged the usual pleasantries.” Pileggi, 30, said the greetings were along the lines of ‘Hey, what’s up,’ and other words common to his “age group.”
“I’m not so old, I understand,” replied the 50-year-old prosecutor.
County Judge Barbara Zambelli, who is in her late 50s, couldn’t let the moment pass.
“You’re ‘not so old?'” she said with a smile. The jury and the crowded courtroom had a chuckle at Green’s expense. The veteran prosecutor smiled and nodded, then continued his questioning.
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