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Parole Denied For Man Convicted Of Local Assault

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Sonora, CA–Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke announced that on May 11, 2021, 51-year-old Rocco Angelo Costanza was denied release at a parole hearing held via videoconference. This was Costanza’s first parole hearing.

Costanza attacked Laurel Young-Buchanan and Jeffrey Buchanan unprovoked while they were walking their dog in the City of Sonora. He approached them and asked how they were doing and after seeing them again got into a football linebacker position and charged the pair, scooping up Mrs.Buchanan and throwing her to the street. He then picked up Mr.Buchanan and slammed him into the sidewalk until he lost consciousness and quit moving. After fleeing the scene he was later arrested by law enforcement. He was charged and found guilty of causing serious injury, a serious felony, and a felony assault likely to cause great bodily injury.

Costanza had an extensive criminal history with one conviction for robbery in 1991 and several misdemeanors before being sentenced to prison in 1995, he violated parole four times and received a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction in 2006. In 2013, the defendant was given the chance to be on felon probation for a felony violation of criminal threats. This was rare because Costanza was not eligible for probation due to his prior robbery conviction. Three months later he would go on to attack the Buchanans.

During the hearing it became known that Costanza was engaging in criminal behavior in prison, sustaining 6 serious rule violations. It was determined that, after several statements from medical personal and testimony from the Buchanans that he was not eligible for parole. He will be eligible again in 3 years.

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