By Emily J. Minor
The trial of former Ocean Ridge Vice Mayor Richard Lucibella has been delayed, again, because Lucibella’s attorney, Marc Shiner, has a torn calf muscle, attorney Heidi Perlet told a judge Wednesday morning.
Lucibella, who appeared in court Wednesday but stayed seated and silent during the brief hearing before Circuit Judge Meenu T. Sasser, will come back May 24 to see if a new trial date can be set. It depends, Perlet said, on Shiner’s recovery.
The jury trial, most recently set to start Monday, April 30, stems from charges filed after police came to Lucibella’s Ocean Ridge home around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 2016, to investigate the sound of gunfire. Three police officers found the vice mayor, who has since resigned, and former Ocean Ridge police Lt. Steven Wohlfiel — who was later fired — sitting outside on Lucibella’s back patio. Officers later said the two men were drinking and that, when they first approached, they saw one of the men with a .40-caliber Glock pistol. Neither man has admitted to firing a gun that night.
The police visit quickly escalated into a contentious confrontation that resulted with Lucibella on the ground in handcuffs. That scuffle, claims Lucibella’s legal team, left the former Ocean Ridge official with broken ribs and an injured eye. But one of the responding officers claims she was the one injured, and she’s suing Lucibella.
Refusing any plea deal from the State Attorney’s Office, Lucibella is going to trial on felony charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. He also faces one misdemeanor count of using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.