BEVERLY — A former Beverly man admitted Wednesday to threatening his pregnant neighbor in a Beverly condo complex with a handgun last April because he was angry at the noise her fiance's service dog was making.
Joseph Matranga, 23, will spend two years on probation, with conditions that include anger management counseling, alcohol and mental health evaluations and treatment, and not owning any guns, Salem District Court Judge Randy Chapman ordered.
He has also been ordered to stay away from both the victim, a 33-year-old woman who lived in the unit above the one where he was living last April, and from other residents at the Gateway condominiums at 60 Rantoul St., except for his mother.
Prosecutor Erin McAndrews had sought a guilty finding in the case, with similar conditions of probation, while Matranga's lawyer, Thomas Gately, asked for a continuation without a finding.
Chapman opted to continue the case without a finding for two years, with the added condition of a GPS monitoring device until next January.
If he complies with the conditions set by the judge and stays out of further trouble, the charge of assault with a dangerous weapon will be dismissed.
The judge also noted that if Matranga violates the conditions or commits a new offense, he faces up to 2 1/2 years in jail.
Police were called to the condo complex, where Matranga, a military veteran, was living with his mother, on the evening of April 18.
Matranga had shown up at his neighbor's door to complain about the noise from the dog, the latest in a series of complaints and confrontations with neighbors.
The woman, then 32 weeks pregnant, testified last spring that Matranga told her to "shut up" and made disparaging comments related to her being pregnant.
As she turned to walk back into her apartment, she said she heard a gun being chambered.
Police subsequently found a collection of firearms in Matranga's condo, including two rifles, a shotgun, four handguns and an airsoft gun, and numerous rounds of ammunition.
Beverly police initially also charged Matranga with having an illegal "bump stock," but later discovered that it was a different type of device.
Matranga was initially ordered held without bail following a hearing in April, but a Salem Superior Court judge later set $1,000 bail and conditions of release for Matranga, including requiring him to stay with a family member in Tewksbury and submit to random alcohol testing.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.