The Coastal Star

Ocean Ridge: Lucibella trial postponed a 3rd time

By Steve Plunkett

 

Former Ocean Ridge Vice Mayor Richard Lucibella’s felony trial will not start before next year.

His defense attorney, Marc Shiner, and Assistant State Attorney Danielle Grundt both agreed this month to the postponement — the trial’s third delay. Circuit Judge Charles Burton rescheduled the case for February 2018.

Shiner also complained that Police Officer Nubia Plesnik’s lawyer, Richard Slinkman, has made it impossible for him to conduct a crucial deposition.

Plesnik, one of the arresting officers, filed a civil lawsuit against Lucibella claiming he intentionally pushed and injured her. That means Slinkman “is not a party” to the criminal case and can only make objections if a question infringes on attorney-client privilege.

“Slinkman repeatedly objected on numerous other grounds,” Shiner said. “He interrupted the proceedings to the point that it was not possible to proceed with the deposition.”

Shiner is asking the judge to prohibit Slinkman from attending the deposition or order him to follow court rules on objections.

Lucibella, 64, is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence — both felonies — and a misdemeanor count of using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. He has pleaded not guilty.

Plesnik, fellow Officer Richard Ermeri and Sgt. William Hallahan went to Lucibella’s home Oct. 22, 2016, after neighbors heard gunfire. They confiscated a .40-caliber handgun and found five spent shell casings on the backyard patio.

They later determined the confiscated handgun belonged to Lt. Steven Wohlfiel, their supervisor, who was with Lucibella during the incident. Both men were “obviously intoxicated,” they said.

Lucibella’s criminal trial was originally set to being in April, then pushed back to June and then October to give Grundt and Shiner time to question all the witnesses.

Burton will have a calendar call on the case Feb. 9.

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