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Judge Tosses Charges in 2019 Shooting Involving NYPD Sergeant

Judge Tosses Charges in 2019 Shooting Involving NYPD Sergeant

According to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, on October 25, 2019, Sgt. Justin Ellis returned home to find Patrick Catania, Ellis’ wife’s personal trainer whom she was having an affair with, trespassing on Ellis’ property. The men argued, after which, Prosecutors allege that Catania retrieved a baseball bat and attempted to assault Ellis, who then shot Catania twice.

While no arrests were initially made, the DA’s Office brought the case to the grand jury, with both men facing criminal charges. The grand jury indicted Ellis on a felony assault charge and Catania on attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, and criminal trespass charges.

Issue of Flawed Presentation

Citing that the prosecution gave a “flawed presentation” to the grand jury, a Nassau County judge has thrown out the criminal charges brought against NYPD Sgt. Ellis and Catania. In this case, the judge explained that the prosecution’s flawed presentation prejudiced the grand jury against both Sgt. Ellis and Catania.

According to Acting State Supreme Court Justice Francis Ricigliano, multiple errors were made by the prosecution, including:

  • Giving grand jurors incorrect instructions
  • Misstating the burden of proof
  • Telling the grand jurors that Sgt. Ellis was entitled to the “no duty to retreat” charge, which is typically reserved for an on-duty officer attempting to arrest someone or prevent someone from escaping custody

Prosecutors have the option to re-present the cases against both Sgt. Ellis and Catania to a new grand jury within 30 days.

Attorney Scott Gross Representing Catania

As reported in Newsday, Attorney Gross stated that Judge Ricigliano’s ruling was “one small step forward” and that Catania wants to move forward from the incident with Sgt. Ellis, which took place three years ago. According to Attorney Gross, “As we have maintained from the very beginning, Mr. Catania has never committed a crime. Today the Court agreed.”

A former Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney, Mr. Gross handled thousands of criminal cases, including many high-profile cases. With this vast experience and knowledge behind him, Attorney Gross provides his clients with aggressive litigation defense services. Highly skilled in both trial techniques and the rules of evidence in criminal cases, Mr. Gross has a strong track record of success and is known for his many favorable outcomes.

If you are facing criminal charges, whether felony or misdemeanor charges, our law firm can help. Schedule a consultation online today.


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