SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 18, 2014

Second judge rules Endicott student a danger

Not swayed by letters of support from family, friends

(Continued)

Lu’s ruling means that DeStefano will continue to be held without bail at Middleton Jail. While the order is in effect for 90 days, that time does not include any time spent awaiting defense-filed motions in the case and means he could be in custody until trial.

DeStefano’s family has hired three high-profile attorneys, Martin Weinberg, William Cintolo and Ray Buso, to represent him in the case.

But their efforts, including a lengthy memorandum and letters from 19 family members, friends, doctors, coaches and even a New Jersey police sergeant, failed to persuade Lu to release DeStefano to the custody of his parents.

DeStefano’s attorneys also said that he could work for his grandfather’s real estate development business in New Jersey.

The letters describe a very different person than the one charged.

Sgt. Frank Ferrigno of the Peterson, N.J., police department, said he believes DeStefano to be a “peace-loving, courteous” young man. “In the line of work I am in, I’ve seen young men get themselves in trouble. Sometimes these young men have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I truly believe that Dillon would never intentionally hurt another person.”

An uncle, Jon DeStefano, wrote to urge the judge to “see past the media hype” about the case. A family friend, Michael Clark Bamrick, wrote that he has been “appalled at the way he has been portrayed on the Internet.”

And one family friend, Douglas McDonough, wrote that he believes the Massachusetts court procedure to determine whether someone is a danger is “idiotic.”

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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