Michael P. Guerra, the Niagara Falls man who was directed to join the U.S. Army at his sentencing for a domestic violence misdemeanor, has been rejected by the Army and will be resentenced, his attorney said Friday.
Matthew P. Pynn, an assistant Niagara County public defender, said Guerra phoned him Wednesday and told him the Army had turned him down.
"He said he didn't get in because of the publicity, that the word came down through the chain of command that he was not to get in," Pynn said.
Army spokesmen made it clear after The Buffalo News reported the terms of Guerra's conditional discharge last month that Army regulations prohibit induction of anyone as a condition of sentencing for any crime.
Guerra, 20, had pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal contempt of court. He was charged with entering a North Tonawanda apartment Oct. 29, 2004, where his ex-girlfriend was visiting a female friend. The resident was shoved against a wall and kneed in the stomach when she tried to shield the ex-girlfriend from Guerra. Both women had court orders of protection against Guerra because of previous incidents.
When Guerra came before Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza for sentencing Jan. 25, he told Sperrazza that he had been in contact with a local recruiter and wanted to join the Army.
Sperrazza gave Guerra a conditional discharge, the condition being that he join the Army within 30 days.
Now Guerra has a new court date of March 14, although it is unclear if he will be resentenced that day. Sperrazza's options include placing other conditions on the discharge, sending Guerra to jail for up to a year or placing him on probation for three years.
"He's disappointed, is the best way to put it," Pynn said. "He's got a job and is trying to enroll in some college."