Skip to comments.Guilty verdict for black dad in shooting death of white teen in Long Island (Klan reference invoked)
Posted on 12/22/2007 10:38:31 PM PST by Stoat
Saturday, December 22nd 2007, 10:25 PM
The black Long Island father charged with shooting a white teen was convicted of manslaughter Saturday night by a jury that rejected his claim he was defending his family from a "lynch mob."
John White, 54, was found guilty of gunning down 17-year-old Daniel Cicciaro last year in the racially charged case.
"We're going to Disney. Wooo!" the victim's father, Daniel Cicciaro Sr., crowed, as he left the Arthur M. Cromarty Court complex in Riverhead, L.I., Saturday night.
"My son is finally vindicated," the teen's mother, Joanne Cicciaro, said. "The truth prevailed.
"It was never about race. It was about individuals and individuals' actions."
Cicciaro's relatives started honking their horns in the parking lot.
White, who also was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon, had maintained that the shooting was accidental. He was permitted to remain free on bail until sentencing, when he is to face a prison term of 5 to 15 years.
He had no comment last night.
The ruling came on the fourth day of tense jury deliberations that followed a trial in which defense attorneys referenced the Ku Klux Klan in arguing the shooting was justified. Jurors reported they were deadlocked on Friday.
Reaction in the courtroom was muted after Judge Barbara Kahn had warned the spectators against "public displays of approval or disapproval when the verdict is read."
White testified during the trial that he was trying to protect his family when he brandished a gun last year after a group of angry white teenagers showed up at his doorstep late at night to confront his then-19-year-old son, Aaron.
John White had been sleeping inside his home in Miller Place, a predominantly white community in eastern Long Island, on Aug. 9, 2006, when Aaron woke him to say that a group of angry teens was headed to their house bent on beating him up.
Minutes earlier, Aaron White had gotten into a fight with the boys after being asked to leave a house party.
The elder White first grabbed a shotgun, but then opted instead for a pistol he kept in his garage.
He and his son, who had picked up the shotgun, walked to the end of the driveway to confront the angry gang, who hurled racial epithets.
John White said his gun went off accidentally after Cicciaro lunged for it.
"He wanted to stop these people who said they were coming to kill his son," defense attorney Fred Brewington said in closing arguments.
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney James Chalifoux said White should have simply locked the door and called police - and not gone outside to confront the teenagers with a gun.
He also sought to downplay the racial element, telling jurors the Brooklyn-raised White never said anything about a lynch mob until the case went to trial.
The defendant's wife, Sonia White, said only, "We are blessed by the Lord."
You don't have to say more.
Or if the hoods were in the process of robbing him, and the gun accidentally goes off? What then?
Nothing is immaterial. We're put on this earth to make choices. What his lawyer resorted to in court doesn't matter as far as what happened that night. And I again say that you take a gang to a man's house and threaten his son, your life is in your hands an it's nobody's fault but your own, liberal courts notwithstanding.
Mr White was forced to act in a way he wasn't prepared to under severe duress, in the middle of the night, at his home and on his premises, and to a mob intent on committing a Class C felony. Any accidents that Mr White may have caused are the responsibility of those punks in the mob that forced White's actions in the first place.
Not necessarily. Dodge City was safer than Washington DC of today, or the New York City of the "Wild West" era.
Some of do live in the "wild west" and find it a nice peaceful, and mostly safe place.
It seems that there are many posters here who think that laws in New York are the same as those in the Lone Star State. Although in many cases it would certainly be nice if that were the case, unfortunately it's not.
Now that depends on the situation and the jurisdiction. Certainly don't say it if the facts indicate otherwise. But it's not necessary in enlightened states which allow for use of potentially deadly force in defensive of more than just one's life or limb.
OF COURSE you do, particularly in places with saner self-defense laws than what exist in Long Island, New York. Unfortunately, Long Island is not Texas, and the laws aren't the same.
On the basis of a telephone threat? Or was it a warning? The one might get you a detective in the morning. The other probably would get you a squad car..sometime.
But the call should have been made anyway. Mr. Horn in Texas was *on the phone* with the 911 dispatcher, until he stepped out of his house, was confronted with the burglars in his yard, and shot the buggers. He even charged his shotgun while still on the phone.
Cute. The jails and prisons are full of people who acted outside of the local laws either through arrogance, belligerence or stupidity, and Mr. White will now be joining them.
That depends on the totality of the circumstances. If having the gun pointed at the intruders was legitimate, then just because the actor did not intend to pull the trigger it doesn't turn a legitimate action into manslaughter.
I can easily see the AD occurring when, depending on whose version one believes, the punk lunged at Mr. White, or tried to slap the gun away.
My husband has always told me that if I have to shoot someone, I better drag them inside the house before the cops come.
Seriously, you can’t just shoot someone for being on your property, they have to at least be at the threshold.
Accidental death is accidental death. PERIOD.
The only exception I can think of is if someone grabs for your gun and in the struggle, the gun goes off. But that is not your fault and there’s no way to prove whose finger applied pressure to the trigger or if someone’s finger applied pressure to someone else’s finger that pressed against the trigger. And besides, if someone actually grabs your gun, you now have grounds to defend yourself with deadly force.
If you can’t control your own trigger finger then don’t pick up a gun in the first place.
Now, in the case of mr white, even if he had never fired the gun and no one was hurt, in my opinion, he MIGHT still be guilty of brandishing a firearm. I’d have to know more of the details. But since he killed the kid accidentally, the details are a moot point and I don’t care what they are.
If I was mr white, I would never have said I fired accidentally. I would’ve said the kid made a grab for my firearm and I shot him. Then there would be something to argue about. Also, I never would aim for someone’s face. In a panic situation, a person shoots to knock the person back or down. Shooting in the face makes people think of a deliberate execution.
Mr white is not only guilty, he is too stupid to own a firearm in the first place. I’m not saying the kid he killed was smart. The kid was just as stupid of not more so.
If a punk lunged at him and he fired in self defense, why the hell would he then claim he didn’t intend to fire the firearm? Either he did it intentionally as an act of self defense, or it was an accident and he is negligent. THere’s no in between.
Agreed. He used a huge amount of time to mishandle a rather simple event.....the sort of situation that anyone with the most basic grounding or interest in the law would have handled completely differently.
I'm delighted that you've found it to be worthwhile; thank you for your kind words :-)
Diversity has some advantages. This tragedy isn't one of them.
The NY Daily News does not have to excerpted. The NY Post, Sun and Times have to excerpted. I don't read the NY Observer often enough to remember.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my New York ping list. Have a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
And as we just found out, do that in New York and you go to prison...
In his shoes, I would have likely done the same thing. You protect your family at all costs even if the law is against you.
And the thugs go to Disneyland.
The jury or the prosecutor didn't think so. Story doesn't say what the original charges were so we can't tell if it was the prosecutor or the jury which found him guilty of manslaughter, which is at least a couple of degrees below first degree murder, depending on the state.
In his shoes, I would have likely done the same thing. You protect your family at all costs even if the law is against you.
If he and his family had actually been under an immediate threat I would agree 100%.
Unfortunately, Mr. White chose to go outside, waving a gun inches from the faces of the unarmed mob, and needlessly escalated a situation that could very easily have been diffused by the police. He was only placed under a life threat because he chose to escalate the situation.
Just good ol’ boys, havin’ some fun? If he’d stayed inside like a good boy everything woulda been fine?
i have the same reaction.
if these guys were coming after a family member, i would take it very seriously.
he went outside to protect his family from a drunken mob.
He was charged with 2nd degreee manslaughter. Apparently the verdict was not beyond a reasonable doubt, because the jury foreman was in tears when she read the verdict. Beyond a reasonable doubt doesn't generate tears, guilt and the conflict of uncertainly does. The jury was apparently intent on heading off to Christmas activities.
"At 9 p.m., the forewoman, through tears, read the decision to a hushed courtroom."
But not generally of manslaughter, except involuntary manslaughter. Was manslaughter the original charge?
Depends on your definition of "everything being fine".
Well, you got a point there.
I don’t know the answer. And I don’t know how the penalties compare for manslaughter vs involuntary manslaughter. Nor do I know how the definitions of the two kinds of manslaughter compare. I would probably support the lesser of the two charges for mr white and base that position on my present ignorance of the matter.
This throws a whole new curve into my assessment of the shooting. If I were on the jury and had to decide guilty or not guilty, and the DA went after the guy for a charge that was too stiff, I’d probably find him not guilty...even though I personally think he should be punished for what he did. If he’s charged with the wrong offense, I’d vote not guilty.
My apologies for post 142, PapaBear. It was directed at lowoil.
Or perhaps, they felt sorry for the defendant, didn’t agree with the law, but came back with a proper verdict by following the law as they were directed to do.
Yes, I see your 11C tagline. Go ahead and drop a mortar round on a group of unarmed teens when they are doing nothing more than yelling at your house, and that elephant will be the criminal justice system crushing your assets, freedom, and life, as just happened to Mr White. Now that he's been convicted of manslaughter, the next step will be the lawsuit that strips every asset he has.
But he sure showed those punks not to yell at his house
You came pretty close to describing such an in between in your previous post.
have to know more of the details. But since he killed the kid accidentally, the details are a moot point and I dont care what they are. If I was mr white, I would never have said I fired accidentally. I wouldve said the kid made a grab for my firearm and I shot him. Then there would be something to argue about. Also, I never would aim for someones face. In a panic situation, a person shoots to knock the person back or down. Shooting in the face makes people think of a deliberate execution.,
Or the kid made a grab for the firearm, and in jerking it away, or trying to retain it, he accidentally pulled the trigger.
We don't know that he aimed for the face/head deliberately, but if the gun discharged as is was being jerked away, a center of mass aimpoint could easily turn into a shot in the face.
Oh, BTW, you aren't going to knock anyone back or down with a .32. You have to hope for hitting something vital, as you do with all handgun rounds, but a .32 is especially weak. The only centerfire round that is more puny is the .25 auto, which is generally considered less effective than .22 long rifle which is a rimfire round. (Long Rifle is a name only, I have a pistol that fires it, and my father-in-law had several. I actually have two now, I got one of his when he passed away, but it's still in his safe, so I tend to forget about it).
I'd have the shotgun over most handguns, but especially over the pipsqueak .32. More in
Thank you, no problem. Have a Merry and safe Christmas
You, too, and again my apologies for my misdirected fire. Should have used a sharper pencil.
Have you seen info on the new .327 Federal Mag? It looks like it could clear your sinuses. :)
The .32 ACP and .32 S&W are, as you mentioned, lamentable stoppers. But a favorite of mine, the .32-20, although old, certainly better than a .380.
Revisited a very informative, educational thread. Thanks for the link at #134, Papa Bear.
Thanks to all posters on this thread.
Shotguns are illegal on Long Island? According to the NRA/ILA site(PDF), no permit is required for long guns in New York state, nor are they registered nor do they require a permit/license to carry. New York City, yes, but not New York State. Only handguns require all of the above in NY state. Do the various jurisdictions on Long Island all follow NY City practice?
He’s facing firearms charges, and so it may well be that the charges pertain to the revolver that he used.
Who in their right mind would confront an angry mob with a 32? I’d say the “angry mob” description is an exaggeration.
Play it safe by keeping your mouth shut. You have the right to remain silent. Use it. Do not disturb the evidence. If you've shot righteously, then all you can do is hope the police, prosecutor, Grand Jury or Petite Jury, as applies, see it your way. And that you've got the best lawyer you can afford.
Reminds me of a lady in the town I grew up in, possibly a distant relative, but definitely from a family that was friends with my Dad's family. She was spinster lady who lived alone, in an old farmhouse on the edge of town. She was tormented by kids, high school and college, for years. Then one night an itinerant decided her house would be a good place to spend the night (no electricty so it may have appeared abandoned). He made it about halfway in the kitchen window, which was at the bottom of the stairs. She blew his head off, literally, from the stairs. No charges, took awhile to figure out who the deceased was. But I'm told by her great niece and nephew, who were in AFROTC with me, that it unhinged the poor gal. But the point was the body was found outside, but the evidence made it clear what had gone down.
No local would have made that mistake, she was know locally as "Bloody Mary".
Findlaw But it'll take some digging, which I've got too many babies/kids in the house to be able to do right now, or anytime soon. (Two identical twin granddaughters, 7 wks (but 5 wks premie), 2 1/2 y/o granddaughter, and two great nieces 8 and 9.)
Voluntary or involuntary?
Never heard of it. But I'll look into as I have time...which might be a bit.
There’s a review on Gunblast.com.
Have a Merry Christmas.
If RobertPaulson was right above, he had a dreaded evil semi-automatic assault pistol. In a very puny caliber. If he had no permit, or it wasn't registered, then yea, he'd be up for firearms charges.
Shine the flashlight on him and give him the opportunity to leave. As long as he does, there’s no mess, no stress, no lost sleep, and not even any lawyers to deal with.
Wonder how much a 27 lb pork shoulder sets you back?
Thanks for the heads up.
1400 fps for a 100 grain 32 caliber bullet from a 3” barrel.
I am in awe.