Jury Finds Valon Shoshi Guilty
Valon Shoshi of Springs was convicted of two felonies at the end of a six-day jury trial in New York State Criminal Courts building in Riverside last week, aggravated criminal contempt and criminal contempt of court. Mr. Shoshi, 32, had been arrested last year and was free after posting $30,000 bail. He is now in the county jail in Riverside and scheduled to be sentenced in the courtroom of Acting Justice Anthony S. Senft Jr. on March 22.
According to Sheila Kelly, spokeswoman for the district attorney, Mr. Shoshi faces a minimum sentence of two to four years and a maximum of three-and-a-half to seven years in prison. In addition, when he is returned to court to be sentenced, he could get more time for violating the terms of probation issued after he pleaded guilty in 2015 to reckless endangerment in the first degree, a felony.
That charge stemmed from Oct. 3, 2014, when Mr. Shoshi fired a shotgun three times in the house he shared with his parents. He then fled in a Cadillac sedan, triggering a manhunt and a lockdown. A special weapons and tactics team initially surrounded a Georgica Road residence that day, responding to a report that Mr. Shoshi had barricaded himself there. That tip proved unfounded, but he was eventually taken into custody outside One Stop Market on Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton.
Mr. Shoshi was an extremely popular man, having served six years in the Springs Fire Department and as assistant chief of the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association. When he was arraigned in 2014, friends and family took up about half the space in East Hampton Town Justice Court.
In 2012 he had gone to Kosovo, his native country, where he got married. The marriage ended badly, and, at one point, he suffered a gunshot wound. His friends and family pointed to that background as the cause of his troubles. He went into counseling, and, in 2015, was allowed to enter a guilty plea to the felony charge of reckless endangerment.
The recent trial offered a stark contrast to the courtroom scene in 2014. There were no supporters, save for two young women who arrived during the final summations from the attorneys. They hugged Mr. Shoshi and stayed briefly.
The jury, which reached its verdict on Feb. 21, found Mr. Shoshi not guilty of several charges related to violence against the victim, Bethany Shene. They had been living together. However, the jury focused on the criminal contempt charges, after hearing Melissa Grier, an assistant district attorney, list numerous orders of protection various courts had issued against Mr. Shoshi on behalf of Ms. Shene. The aggravated criminal contempt charge requires that, in the course of violating an order of protection, the defendant injured the victim.
Mr. Shoshi’s attorney, Lawrence Schoenbach, called Mr. Shoshi the victim, arguing that Ms. Shene had used the orders of protection, figuratively speaking, as a cudgel. The jury found otherwise.