July 24, 2014

Medina
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Jury selection begins in first errant bullets trial

MEDINA — Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Parma man accused of unintentionally hitting two Montville Township homes with assault rifle bullets through woods in January.

R. Daniel Volpone, 45, pleaded not guilty in March to a charge of firing a gun over a public road, a third-degree felony punishable by up to three years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

R. Daniel Volpone

Mark Bornino

Montville Township police arrested Volpone and a co-defendant, Mark Bornino, 53, on Jan. 16 after two families called 911 to report bullets piercing their homes.

One family said a bullet passed through a wall and lodged itself in a microwave oven moments after they had left the kitchen, and police said they heard bullets flying overhead when they arrived.

No one was injured.

Police reported they found the men firing the gun at targets without backstops in Bornino’s backyard, 5544 Windfall Road, Montville Township — about a third of a mile away from the two houses through a patch of woods.

A Medina County grand jury indicted Volpone and Bornino on Jan. 29, and Bornino awaits an Aug. 12 trial.

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin in Volpone’s trial Wednesday before county Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier.

As part of the trial, the jurors are expected to visit Bornino’s property for a “jury view.” Collier said attorneys will not be permitted to speak during the jury view, but his bailiff will direct jurors to look in a certain direction to give them Volpone’s perspective that day.

Collier compared the jury view to giving the jurors a three-dimensional photograph.

Volpone’s attorney, David Sheldon, said he wasn’t denying his client hit the houses. But he said he requested the jury view to show how his client couldn’t see the houses below and hit them accidentally.

“He didn’t know there were houses down there,” he said. “It was an accident, an unfortunate one. We’re glad no one got hurt.”

Both men are free from the county jail on bond, and Collier barred them from owning firearms for the duration of their cases as a bond condition.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.