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Son jailed in dadís death ("Death by Heart Attack")
Times Leader ^ | 2/28/08 | EDWARD LEWIS

Posted on 02/28/2008 6:20:37 AM PST by Born Conservative

PLAINS TWP. (PA) – Ernest Joseph Zalaffi Jr. quietly sobbed during his arraignment on charges he contributed to his father’s death.

The 37-year-old was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor counts of involuntary manslaughter, simple assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the Feb. 17 death of his 65-year-old father, Ernest Joseph Zalaffi Sr.

Plains Township and Luzerne County investigators said the father and son got into an argument inside their East Saylor Avenue home when the elder Zalaffi suffered a heart attack.

Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino said the younger Zalaffi was responsible for his father’s death because “homicide by heart attack is a recognized concept under the law and by science.”

“We are not alleging this is an intentional killing,” District Attorney Jacqueline Musto Carroll said. “The defendant knew his father had a pre-existing cardiac condition.”

The elder Zalaffi suffered a heart attack about five years ago and was taking prescription medications for his illness.

Zalaffi cried when he was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Diana Malast in Plains Township. He was jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $1 million bail.

After the arraignment, Zalaffi said he loved his father “very much.”

“This is a horrible tragedy for this family. Through the investigation we learned they are a close family. This incident is going to affect them for the rest of their lives. The defendant’s conduct was criminal and it was simply inexcusable,” Musto Carroll said.

Plains Township police Lt. Richard Lussi said the family is “well-respected” in the community.

“(Ernest Sr.) was a very nice man, very well-respected,” Lussi said.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Lussi and Luzerne County Detective Larry Fabian:

Police were summoned to the home just after 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 for a heart attack victim. There, officers found the younger Zalaffi performing CPR on his father. Officers and paramedics continued to perform CPR on the elder Zalaffi before rushing him to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital where the man died.

The younger Zalaffi made statements to officers that “It’s my fault, it’s my fault. I did this to him,” the criminal complaint says.

Mary Ann Zalaffi, the wife of the older Zalaffi, told police that her son “killed” her husband.

She claimed the two were arguing before they struggled with each other. Her husband had the younger Zalaffi in a head lock and was telling him to calm down.

The younger Zalaffi got up off the floor and began yelling at his father, “Can’t keep up with me, you’re getting weak. You can’t keep up with me anymore,” the criminal complaint says.

The elder Zalaffi told his wife to leave the house and call police. When she returned to the kitchen, she saw her son performing CPR on her husband.

She said her son told her: “Don’t tell the cops we were fighting,” the criminal complaint says.

An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross determined the elder Zalaffi died from myocardial insufficiency severe coronary artery disease due to a physical altercation and ruled the manner of death a homicide.

Ferentino said he’s confident the case has legal standing, and pointed to a similar case in Wilkes-Barre where a son fought with his father who died from cardiac arrest on Oct. 26, 2006.

In that case, Edward Longfoot, 37, was sentenced in September to 18 to 36 months in state prison on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for the death of his 75-year old father, Edward Albert.

A preliminary hearing for Zalaffi is scheduled for March 7 before Malast.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 02/28/2008 6:20:38 AM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative

“Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino said the younger Zalaffi was responsible for his father’s death because “homicide by heart attack is a recognized concept under the law and by science.”

Wha-huh?


2 posted on 02/28/2008 6:23:49 AM PST by Slapshot68
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To: Born Conservative

I don’t fight with my old man for an altogether different reason. At 75, he’d still kick my a$$.....


3 posted on 02/28/2008 6:24:03 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Born Conservative

Million Dollar Bail?? How stupid! Mass Murderers get less!


4 posted on 02/28/2008 6:27:48 AM PST by Ann Archy (Abortion.....The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Born Conservative
Drinking Coffee Sounds like an episode of Prosecutors Gone Wild.
5 posted on 02/28/2008 6:29:11 AM PST by HawaiianGecko
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To: Slapshot68

I can’t believe this! Surely, the argumentation was a mutual responsibility. The father didn’t have to respond, engage. There are simply contentious individuals. I would bet both father and son equally responsible.


6 posted on 02/28/2008 6:30:54 AM PST by Dudoight
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To: Born Conservative

Well actually it sounds like the old man did it to himself...he should have known his own limitations.


7 posted on 02/28/2008 6:31:02 AM PST by Santa Fe_Conservative (The RINOs think that they have won but we shall see who has the last laugh in '08...)
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To: Born Conservative

I bet this Father argued with his Father and this family abuse is just being past down.

They have counseling for young families now so this pattern can stop!


8 posted on 02/28/2008 6:34:13 AM PST by restornu (Maybe your are a church mouse! cheese cheese...)>)
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To: Born Conservative

If you can be jailed for giving your father a heart attack, my five year old is in serious trouble....


9 posted on 02/28/2008 6:35:58 AM PST by Eepsy (The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.)
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To: Eepsy

What if your kid just gives you ulcers? Is that a misdemeanor?


10 posted on 02/28/2008 6:42:03 AM PST by eeman
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To: Born Conservative

Really, have we all lost every bit of common sense.


11 posted on 02/28/2008 6:48:25 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: Born Conservative

That is six kinds of stupid.


12 posted on 02/28/2008 6:57:56 AM PST by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: Born Conservative

If he’d seriously been trying to kill his father, he wouldn’t have done CPR or tried to get help.

It makes no sense to turn an emotional response of “it was my fault, I was arguing with him” into a confession!!

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

They must not have enough real criminals and crimes to worry about. Or, maybe somebody’s running for office??


13 posted on 02/28/2008 7:07:45 AM PST by susannah59
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To: susannah59

This is both wrong and stupid. I’m guessing the prosecutor is a dim.


14 posted on 02/28/2008 7:24:32 AM PST by prov1813man (While the one you despise and ridicule works to protect you, those you embrace work to destroy you)
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To: Eepsy

I was thinking the same thing. LOL.


15 posted on 02/28/2008 7:29:40 AM PST by stevio (Crunchy Con - God, guns, guts, and organically grown crunchy nuts.)
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To: Born Conservative

“Prosecutors on steroids”. The prosecutor is out of his bloody mind.


16 posted on 02/28/2008 7:34:47 AM PST by khnyny (Quid Est Veritas)
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To: Born Conservative
"...because “homicide by heart attack is a recognized concept under the law and by science.”

Maybe if you're committing a crime when the heart attack occurs. This one's debatable even on a civil level. Where's the intent? (Mens rea)

17 posted on 02/28/2008 7:38:37 AM PST by jim macomber (Author: "Bargained for Exchange", "Art & Part", "A Grave Breach" http://www.jamesmacomber.com)
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To: Santa Fe_Conservative
Well actually it sounds like the old man did it to himself...he should have known his own limitations

Actually, he was trying to stop the situation...and asked his wife to call the police. Sounds like he did know his limitations, yet the son pressed the issue.

Her husband had the younger Zalaffi in a head lock and was telling him to calm down.

The younger Zalaffi got up off the floor and began yelling at his father, “Can’t keep up with me, you’re getting weak. You can’t keep up with me anymore,” the criminal complaint says.

The elder Zalaffi told his wife to leave the house and call police. When she returned to the kitchen, she saw her son performing CPR on her husband.

18 posted on 02/28/2008 3:12:39 PM PST by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: susannah59
If he’d seriously been trying to kill his father, he wouldn’t have done CPR or tried to get help.

Maybe that's why this was in the article:
“We are not alleging this is an intentional killing,” District Attorney Jacqueline Musto Carroll said.

19 posted on 02/28/2008 3:14:04 PM PST by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: Born Conservative

Yeesh. That family has enough difficulty to go through in the next days and weeks. Prosecuting the kid serves no purpose.


20 posted on 02/28/2008 3:18:56 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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