October 21, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
49°F

Jury hung on errant bullets

Defense attorney V. Lee Winchell questions Montville Township police Sgt. Chris LaFond Wednesday during the trial of Mark Bornino, who’s accused of unintentionally hitting two Montville Township houses with bullets from an assault rifle while target practicing. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

The jury deliberating the errant bullets case against a Montville Township man this week failed to reach a verdict.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier declared a hung jury Friday and scheduled a new trial for Aug. 26.

Mark Bornino, 53, of 5544 Windfall Road, is accused of unintentionally hitting two Montville Township houses with bullets fired from an AK-47-like semiautomatic assault rifle in January. Police said they were target-practicing without a proper backstop, so the bullets flew a half-mile before hitting the houses.

Bornino is charged with firing a gun over a public road, a third-degree felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

A friend of Bornino’s, R. Daniel Volpone, was convicted of the same charge two weeks ago after a jury deliberated for 1ᄑ hours. Bornino’s jury deliberated for about 10 hours.

Volpone awaits his Sept. 16 sentencing at the county jail.

Bornino’s attorney, V. Lee Winchell, and county Prosecutor Dean Holman declined to say how many jurors were for and against convicting Bornino.

“I spoke with one of the jurors afterward, and he said there were some jurors who were convinced my client was guilty, and others who were convinced my client was not guilty,” Winchell said. “It seems no one was willing to change their minds.”

Winchell said Bornino was happy members of the jury were willing to listen to his side of the story.

Holman declined to comment, except to say there would be another trial.

Bornino and Volpone were arrested Jan. 16 after Montville Township police responded to calls that two homes had been struck by bullets on Parnham Drive.

No one was hurt, but a police sergeant who responded said he could hear shots whizzing past his head, and one of the families said a second bullet hit their home and lodged in an eye-level microwave moments after they left the kitchen.

Other officers reported they found Bornino and Volpone firing the gun at paper targets in Bornino’s backyard. They accused Bornino of firing the gun “from the hip,” which is unsafe because it reduces accuracy. Bornino denies he ever did that.

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