WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBS 2) — There was outrage Monday after an admitted killer went free in a plea deal with prosecutors.
“He had to have his hand within an eighth of an inch of the knife that went into him,” Dorothy Balancio told CBS 2’s Lou Young.READ MORE: Investigation Into Illegal Guns Leads To More Than 100 Weapons, 12 Arrests In Putnam And Westchester Counties
That’s how Balancio described how her son’s blood ended up on the sleeve of confessed killer Anthony DiSimone — the same Anthony DiSimone who walked free Monday after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of reckless manslaughter.
The killer admits he knifed Louis Balancio during a brawl outside a Yonkers bar 17 years ago. The one-time fugitive was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life and spent seven years behind bars until higher courts ruled he’d been improperly charged and tried.
“We feel disgust that the system changed the rules,” said Jeff Balancio, the victim’s father.READ MORE: First Alert Forecast: Saturday Snowstorm Could Mean More Than A Foot For Long Island, Up To 6 Inches In NYC
It’s a strange technical loophole — the same jury that convicted DiSimone of murder with depraved indifference also acquitted him of second-degree murder. The higher courts ruled that depraved indifference is inappropriate, which throws out the conviction, but leaves the acquittal on the higher charge. Prosecutors had nowhere to go but to lower the bar. And DiSimone took that deal, agreeing he stabbed Louis Balancio 13 times and accepting time already served as his punishment.
“He took out his kidney, his lung, severed his spine, got him in the buttock, in the neck … how do you do that to someone up close? How do you take a knife and put it into someone? He didn’t even know Louis. I mean this is a sociopath,” Dorothy Balancio said.
Various sources close to DiSimone claim he was a fall guy. The judge did not agree, but said a three-to-10-year sentence is now all the law allows. With the seven served he will soon become a parolee.MORE NEWS: Long Island Hoping For Best But Bracing For Worst As Nor'easter Approaches: 'Get Prepared Now'
DiSimone must still report to a state prison for official release, and will have to report to a parole officer. The judge issued a permanent order of protection that he stay away from the Balancio family.