April 16, 2014

Medina
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Man gets probation, says he’s sorry for errant bullets

MEDINA — A 53-year-old Montville Township man apologized at his sentencing hearing Monday to a family whose house he hit with stray bullets from an AK-47-like, semiautomatic assault rifle in January.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier sentenced Mark Bornino, of 5544 Windfall Road, to five years of probation for the unintentional shooting — the same sentence he gave last month to Bornino’s co-defendant, 45-year-old R. Daniel Volpone, of Parma.

Mark Bornino, right, sits with his attorney at his sentencing hearing Monday before Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY NICK GLUNT)

Collier also ordered Bornino not to own guns for the duration of probation, to pay half of the $2,700 in damage, to do 24 hours of community service and not to have contact with Volpone.

Before sentencing, Bornino told the family of Joseph and Mary Kuruc that the first question he asked police that day was whether anyone was hurt. When an officer told him everyone was safe, he said he felt immense relief.

“Since that moment, I’ve wanted to apologize and offer to fix your house, because that’s what I do for a living,” Bornino told the family. “I know Jesus forgives me for my actions, and I hope you can, too.”

Bornino’s attorney, V. Lee Winchell, said he advised his client not to speak with the homeowner while the case was pending.

Although no one was hurt, a Montville Township police sergeant reported hearing shots whizzing past his head. Members of the Kuruc family said they had just left the kitchen when a bullet came through a wall and lodged in a head-level microwave.

The Kurucs’ home on Parnham Drive lies about a third of a mile away and down a hill from Bornino’s backyard, where he and Volpone were shooting at targets.
Both Bornino and Volpone went to trial over the shooting.

A jury found Volpone guilty in August of firing a gun over a public road, a third-degree felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

Bornino’s trial on the same charge last month ended with a hung jury. Before a new trial could begin, Bornino pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of vandalism, a fifth-degree felony punishable by a year in prison.

In both cases, county Assistant Prosecutor Michael McNamara said he wasn’t seeking prison time for the men.

The judge said it was a purposeful decision to give Bornino and Volpone identical sentences, despite their differing degrees of felony.

“I believe you and your co-defendant are equally at fault,” Collier said.

Mary Kuruc, who was home with two adult daughters when the bullets struck the house, said she hoped the case would serve as a lesson for Bornino.

“I’m glad it’s all over. We can move on with our lives now,” Kuruc said. “Maybe when Mr. Bornino gets off probation, he’ll think twice about shooting his guns.”

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