29 July 2008

[Misc] Minor league player shows weiner, goes to jail

Ex-Blade Cornacchia going to jail
Cornacchia gets one year for airplane outburst
By Chris Umpierre • cumpierre@news-press.com • July 29, 2008

Wearing a black suit and tie over a gray shirt, David Cornacchia stared blankly ahead as handcuffs were slapped on his wrists behind his back.

Cornacchia’s mother, seated in the first row of the courtroom, clasped her hands on top of her brown dress and sobbed quietly as two federal marshals ushered her 27-year-old son out of the room.

Cornacchia, who played 67 games for the Florida Everblades last season, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered to pay $4,000 in fines on Monday for interfering with a flight crew last year.

On an American Airlines flight from Toronto to Dallas on Dec. 27, Cornacchia got drunk, slapped a flight attendant, head-butted a passenger and exposed his genitals in an effort to urinate in his seat.

“I don’t think anybody could read that (pre-sentencing) report and not be horrified for the passengers on that plane,” Judge John E. Steele said. “It was not a proud day for you.”

Cornacchia’s attorney, Michael F. Hornung, said his client’s sentence could be reduced to 10 months for good behavior. Hornung requested a prison close to Cornacchia’s home in Toronto and Steele said he would grant that request.

After his release from prison, an immigration officer will decide whether the Canadian citizen is allowed to stay in the country or be deported. If he remains, he will be under supervised release for three years.

Hornung said he was pleased Cornacchia didn’t receive the maximum sentence of two years.

Cornacchia has 10 days to appeal the decision, but Hornung said he didn’t know if his client was going to do that.

“We respect Judge Steele’s decision,” Hornung said. “A year and a day is shorter than the 24 months he could have served.”

Steele said he didn’t give the maximum sentence because of Cornacchia’s criminal history. Cornacchia has just one previous arrest, for driving under the influence in 2007 in Santa Ana, Calif., but those charges were dropped.

Hornung said he was disappointed that Steele didn’t side with a senior probation officer, who said in the pre-sentencing report that Cornacchia’s actions didn’t endanger the safety of the people on the aircraft.

If Steele ruled in agreement with that statement, Cornacchia would have likely received probation, Hornung said.

Steele ruled that Cornacchia endangered the passenger’s safety because his actions forced the captain to declare an on-board emergency. The pilot was granted direct approach to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

“That happened because of the actions of the defendant,” Steele said.
Before the sentence was announced, Cornacchia told the judge that he took full responsibility for his actions.

After spending seven hours in the Toronto airport because of immigration problems, Cornacchia ate lunch and had four drinks of vodka and water at T.G.I. Friday’s.
He had two more drinks on the plane. He pressed flight attendants for more alcohol but was denied. He then slapped a flight attendant and head-butted a passenger who helped restrain him.

“I embarrassed myself and my family but at no point did I intend to harm people on the plane,” Cornacchia told Steele on Monday.

Micheala Liscio, Cornacchia’s mother, left without speaking to reporters. She flew in from Toronto to speak to the judge on her son’s behalf.

“David’s been a good child” she told Judge Steele. “He’s totally harmless. The only damage he’s done is to himself. I’m just grateful that there were no real casualties done on the flight that day. I want to beg when your decision is made that you are generous.”

The news of Cornacchia’s sentencing shocked Everblades general manager/president Craig Brush, who was expecting probation for his ex-player. “It’s a very sad day,” Brush said. “The judicial system is in place for a reason and they certainly know what’s the best punishment. I feel terrible for David. He’s not a bad person.”


I hope we've all learned something today.


nebcanuck said...

Weird. It's always funny to think that some of these criminal things probably happen ten times as often in other sports, but in hockey the occasional story that pops up is a huge deal.

It's a lot like the Staal brothers getting wasted. It was wrong, really, but the fact that it got so much media attention was weird, since it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Underaged drinking runs rampant through the ranks of normal society. But hockey players are supposed to be utterly composed off the ice -- something I don't have a problem with, really, since it's a good thing, but find a bit odd.

Big Shooter said...

I don't see what the big deal is.

I've been to jail countless times for showing my weiner.

Maali said...

I will have to find MJ's (the other blogger on this blog who NEVER WRITES ANYTHING ANYMORE BUT I SEE YOU READING THIS YOU BITCH! I AM ONTO YOU! :)) post about the Staals' arrest, because it was DAMNED HILARIOUS.

It's ridiculous, but c'mon. Showing a ween on a plane, and head-butting? That's so kindergarten.

BS: you're not famous though! You're just another flasher!