ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Authorities arrested a Rochester man Friday for his alleged role in the January 6th Capitol riots in Washington, D.C.
In the case of Dominic Pezzola, a local man accused in the riots, one local attorney said the defense has its work cut out for them, especially after the circulation of news coverage and video on the web.
“I see a long haul for the defense. Long haul for the prosecution, too,” said Peter Pullano, a Rochester-based attorney with Tully Rinckey.
“If you’re representing an individual who’s been charged with these things,” Pullano continued, “How do you get a jury to put aside their earlier thoughts and opinions, and things like that? It’s going to be a lot of hard work, I think.”
Pezzola is charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and restricted buildings or grounds. If convicted, the charges could send Pezzola to prison for twenty years and cost him $250,000.
Individual cases will vary, Pullano said, but some defendants might be best off pleading early.
“I think that, yes, there are certain individuals who would probably be best served pleading early on, One of the things that happens in federal cases is you do get credit for accepting responsibility. And along those lines, the earlier the better.”
The case’s high profile may affect the jury selection process, but Pullano says it’s not impossible, speaking from experience.
“I’ve worked on enough cases where I’ve walked in just hopeless, because of media attention or things like that,” Pullano added. “Sometimes it takes time but we always manage to find that panel of people who can be fair, and can promise to follow the rules.”