WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a strange twist in the case of the prominent plastic surgeon busted in Westchester County, accused of having illegal assault rifles and unlicensed handguns.
The ex-wife he allegedly threatened showed up at court on Wednesday, to aid his defense, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“She wants her ex-husband out where he can provide for his family,” defense attorney Paul Gentile said.
Marianna Soropolous offered a surprise show of support for her ex-husband, Dr. Matthew Bonanno, who is facing 41 felony weapons counts for acquiring an arsenal. Assault rifles, which are illegal in New York, and unlicensed handguns were allegedly discovered on Aug. 12 in the trunk of his SUV in the village of Tuckahoe after a friend called police to say Bonanno had a gun and was threatening his former wife.
“She reached out to me and she said, ‘We spent the whole day together. There were no problems. Afterwards, we went out to dinner with my daughter. No problems,'” Gentile said. “She said, ‘I told the police and I told the district attorney, and the police astonishingly said, ‘Well, we don’t need you anymore.'”
However, Westchester County Assistant District Attorney Jean Prisco said there’s a dark history of threats that were reported to Tuckahoe police.
“He threatened to snap her neck, and stated that it would be easy to dispose of her body using household chemicals,” Prisco said.
In fact, Bonanno is not charged with threatening his ex-wife, only for possessing illegal weapons. The prosecution said many were acquired when the doctor dropped $46,000 on a single day last summer at a Florida gun store.
“I don’t know why, but that’s what collectors do. They look at guns like shiny toys for children,” Gentile said. “[Bonanno] recognizes that he should have taken the time out and registered the guns.”
“The defendant still possessed this arsenal in his trunk, and counsel can’t really get around that,” Prisco countered.
The stated purpose of Wednesday’s hearing was so the doctor could ask for bail. Judge George Fufidio granted it at $100,000 cash, but after the prosecutor said charges were pending in Nassau County, where another arsenal was allegedly found, Bonanno’s lawyer decided it wasn’t worth even trying to make bail.
The defense said the state of New York has been in touch, and Dr. Bonanno is at risk of having his medical license suspended, Aiello reported.