Oct. 16—The trial of Shavertown attorney Joseph Persico began Monday with jury selection, said Carbon County District Attorney Michael Greek.
Persico, 73, is facing criminal vehicular homicide charges for a Nov. 6, 2018, fatal drunken crash in Carbon County.
The case against Persico alleges his blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit when he drove his Audi sedan from the southbound lane into northbound lane, striking a Honda Civic driven by Scranton resident Paul Gerrity, 50.
“We have picked our jury,” said DA Greek, who said he is sitting second chair to Assistant DA Kara Beck, who is prosecuting the case. Attorney Paul Walker is representing Persico. Carbon County Judge Joseph J. Matika is presiding in the case.
Greek said the trial will begin Tuesday, adding that “it looks like a two-day trial.”
DA Greek said Persico is charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault and several other offenses.
State police allege in court records that Persico had a blood alcohol level of .22% after the crash. An adult driver in Pennsylvania is considered legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .08%.
According to police reports, Persico was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of the turnpike when his Audi A-4 sedan slammed head-on into a Honda Civic driven by Gerrity, 50, of Scranton, who was returning home from his job as a toll collector.
The impact caused Gerrity’s car to spin and hit another vehicle driven by Pan Tso, of Wilmington, Delaware, according to the report. Gerrity was pronounced dead at the scene, while Tso and Persico were taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries.
Persico has been free on $150,000 unsecured bail since his arrest. Persico resigned as an attorney with the law firm Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald following his arrest.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of Gerrity’s estate against Persico was settled out-of-court for more than $1.3 million.
Persico is confined to a wheelchair as a result of injuries he suffered in a fall at his home. The case has been continued several times over the years.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.
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