Anthony Parrinello, 31, is behind bars, accused of intentionally running down Carmelo D'Alessandro in a hit-and-run accident in Anthem on Monday.
Several of Parrinello's family members claim D'Alessandro did not have to die. They claim his death could have been avoided if prosecutors had filed charges last year on a case accusing Parrinello of seriously assaulting four members of his family.
Two of the victims in that assault case were Parrinello's brother-in-law Scott Anglin and his partner Cliff Chamberlain.
"I had two orbital fractures and then a severe deviated septum," Anglin said. "My father was knocked unconscious and broke his ankle. My partner, Cliff, as he was trying to get Tony off of me, he reached up and pulled Cliff's shirt, ripping it, which in turn refractured the surgery of his neck."
The family brawl took place October 2011 at Parrinello's home in Anthem. The police report indicates Parrinello called his mother and father-in-law to come pick up their granddaughter he was fighting with. Anglin accompanied his parents to the home and his partner came along.
The Phoenix police report indicates Anglin and Chamberlain stayed outside while Anglin's mother and father went inside leaving the front door open.
An argument broke out inside the home. Anglin said he went inside to protect his mother.
"He (Parrinello) decided to attack my mother and knocked her into a wall," Anglin said. "I jumped in and protected my mother. He sucker punched me."
One thing led to another and soon the three men were going at it.
No one was arrested that night. The case was closed a few days later. Police said they could not figure out who started the fight and cited in the report the fight was likely mutual combat.
Several days later, a detective reopened the case. After significant follow-up, the detective determined there was probable cause to believe Parrinello should be charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault. The case was forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for charges.
For months, Anglin, his father and Chamberlain waited for word on the charges and hoped for an arrest.
"Nothing's been done, since then and it's been almost a year," Anglin said. "We've heard nothing, seen nothing, haven't gotten calls from anybody. Nothing's been done."
"This case failed to meet MCAO's charging standard of a reasonable likelihood of conviction. Our prosecutors have to convince every member of a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is guilty of a crime. In this case, issues of conflicting statements, self-defense and the rights an individual has to use force to remove unwanted people from his own home (regardless of whether or not those people were "invited"), precluded this matter from reaching that standard," said Cobb.
The case had been dropped and no one from the MCAO ever told any of the victims, despite repeated emails and calls to prosecutors.
Cobb admitted MCAO did receive the emails and inquiries and said it was "regrettable" the office did not do a better job of communicating with those who were hurt.
Anglin and Chamberlain believe prosecutors dropped the ball by not charging Parrinello with aggravated assault as requested by the detective. Both believe, if they had, Parrinello may have been behind bars and not free to allegedly kill D'Alessandro.
"Knowing what they did in dropping the charges, just like they have done in the past with all his legal issues, this man would still be alive," Chamberlain said. "The DA's office has blood on their hands as a result of their actions."
"It's irritating to know that it took someone dying for all this to come out," said Anglin.
Cobb said even if Parrinello had been charged, he likely would not have been behind bars when the incident in Anthem occurred.
"The submitted charges are not prison mandatory. Although the submitted charges were Class 3 felonies, under the subsection in the aggravated assault statute that refers to fractures, these offenses would have been charged as lesser Class 4 offenses, which are probation eligible," said Cobb.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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