The man who allegedly killed a local college student in a hit-and-run accident in November 2011 will stand trial March 25.
Anthony J. Gallo allegedly struck 19-year-old Schenectady County Community College student Cassandra Boone with his truck while she was crossing the intersection of State Street and Erie Boulevard, then fled the scene.
Gallo once again rejected an offer to plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter in return for a sentence of 71⁄2 to 15 years in prison during an appearance Friday morning before visiting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino.
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Gallo had a new attorney, Michael Mansion, because his previous lawyer, Paul Hallahan, had an unspecified conflict of interest. The parties met in Giardino’s chambers for a brief conference before the court proceeding.
Gallo had been in a fight at the Schenectady County Jail the morning before court appearance and sustained bruises and a cut on his nose. Giardino asked him if he was able to proceed and Mansion told the court that his client didn’t have a concussion.
Gallo initially told police that he wasn’t driving that night but had loaned his truck out to another person in exchange for drugs. He later changed his story and admitted to hitting Boone and leaving the scene. He said he was on his way from purchasing drugs from his dealer but was not high at the time of the accident. He said he got high when he returned to his apartment at Yates Village.
In order to prove the top count of aggravated vehicular homicide, prosecutors must prove that Gallo was under the influence when he struck the victim.
Gallo maintains he didn’t see Boone. He lacked insurance or a valid license and had 10 suspensions on his driving record. He is facing charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular manslaughter and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, all felonies, as well as misdemeanor driving while ability impaired by drugs. The top count carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Boone was a Schenectady High School graduate who was an early childhood education student at SCCC. She had a goal of opening her own day care center.