John White released from jail

Victim's family angered by lenient prison term
March 21, 2008 2:07:31 PM PDT
A black Long Island man convicted of killing a white teenager in his driveway is out of jail...for now.White was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison Wednesday for fatally shooting 17-year old Daniel Cicciaro, Jr. in his driveway. The sentencing sparked enormous anger from Cicciaro's family.

White posted $200,000 bail Thursday night and was released. In an on-camera statement, with his attorney present, White said he is blessed to be out and blessed to be with his family. He also said that Daniel Cicciaro, Sr., needs time to heal, and he himself needs time to heal.

There is a heavy police presence at his home.

The shooting victim's father spoke to Long Island reporter Emily Smith, who has more.

Cicciaro says he doesn't really care what's going on right now because he is so disappointed by the sentence. But it was a much calmer Cicciaro than the one who spoke after the sentencing.

"I let out my anger," Cicciaro said. "Maybe I said it wrong. But what I meant was if the roles were reversed, if it had been Aaron [White, John White's teenage son] who was shot by someone else, how would the laws work?"

Cicciaro backed down after his outburst in court upon learning the man who shot and killed his 17-year-old son would get a lenient sentence rather the expected five to 15 years.

"Let's see what happens when Aaron White gets shot," he shouted outside the courtroom Wednesday, referring to White's teenage son. "And see how the laws are. Let's see what happens now."

The case began two years ago, when Aaron White woke his father to say that the younger Cicciaro and his teenage friends were coming over for a lynch mob-style attack. White admits to grabbing a gun and shooting Cicciaro in the face from a distance of three inches.

Incidentally, Suffolk County's hate crime unit responded to the Cicciaro's street Thursday for the vandalism of their next door neighbor's home. That neighbor is black. Shattered light posts and deep tire tracks in the grass have police investigating if it is connected to the controversial sentencing.

Cicciaro says he isn't responsible for it and is friends with his neighbors.

"It appears to me maybe somebody thought this it is where I live," Cicciaro said. "Because I was upset that it was only four years for murdering my son."

The defense says upset would be an understatement. Cicciaro's explosion in court yesterday prompted a 24-7 Suffolk County Police presence at John White's home and panic from his wife Sonia, who says she fears for her life.

Getting an order of protection for Sonia, and possibly for John White when he gets out of jail, is a secondary matter. Defense attorneys said they had been working all day to get the $200,000 dollars needed to bail John White out during his appeal process.