|5 years added to inmate's term for intimidating judge|
|By Cleveland Plain Dealer|
Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula's reputation as a law-and-order judge and harsh sentencer is intimidating to criminals.
Last Thursday, a convict got five more years in prison because he intimidated the judge.
Joseph Casalicchio, 56, was doing 33 months that Sutula imposed for drug offenses when he bragged to fellow inmates that he hired two California Hell's Angels to shoot up her Seven Hills home three years ago. He didn't know one of them was wired and recording what he said.
That conversation and a bunch of .22-caliber bullet holes in the judge's garage office led to Casalicchio's indictment last October for conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, felonious assault, retaliation and intimidation.
A jury deliberated four days last month before rendering a verdict that puzzled prosecutors, defense lawyers and Visiting Common Pleas Judge Ted Schneiderman: acquittals on all but the last of those counts.
Thursday, prosecutors asked for the five-year maximum, saying Casalicchio's conduct, denial of responsibility and lack of remorse strike "at the very heart of . . . civil society."
Casalicchio's lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Joseph Buckley, asked for leniency, saying the conviction was curious given Casalicchio's acquittal on the underlying offenses. His client's taped remarks were nothing but jailhouse braggadocio to make Casalicchio look tough in front of other inmates, Buckley said.
Casalicchio insisted he was innocent.
Schneiderman, a retired Summit County judge, sided with prosecutors. Sutula did not address him at the sentencing, but Schneiderman said she had "suffered some substantial psychological harm because of all this," and Sutula's status as a judge was "an overriding factor" in his decision.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT