, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 5, 2014

Appeals court tosses conviction in bloody pizza shop assault


“Removing the lesser included offense from the jury’s consideration thus was in error,” according to the decision.

The case was prosecuted by then Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone’s office. The appeals court said the case “is remanded for such further action as the Commonwealth may choose to pursue or for such resentencing as the judge may undertake.”

The Middlesex District Attorney is now Marian Ryan. It was unclear yesterday what action her office will take in response to the appeals court decision.

Leone, in a statement issued in May 2012 after sentencing, said Sideri “took advantage of his authority as the victim’s employer, by intimidating the victim, brutally attacking him, and then attempting to cover up the violent crimes ...”

The victim said he knew nothing about the missing money. But Sideri allegedly proceeded to punch the victim several times in the face and struck him with a baseball bat.

Authorities said Sideri then took the victim’s car keys and left the restaurant. When Sideri returned, he told the victim that he moved the victim’s car to prevent anyone from thinking he was still at the restaurant.

The victim escaped that night by running through the woods to a nearby convenience store where he was helped by a store clerk who found him carrying a blood soaked rag and bleeding profusely outside and then inside the store. The victim called his girlfriend who then picked him up, brought him to the hospital and alerted authorities.

The victim denied he stole any money and authorities found there was not proof he had.

Alfonso Guevara of Windham, N.H., co-operator of the restaurant, who prosecutors said was present, faced the same charges under a joint venture theory. He was acquitted.

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