Officer Matthew Francis Segulia Guilty (Picture) Nov 30, 2006 16:06:02 GMT -5
Post by WaTcHeR on Nov 30, 2006 16:06:02 GMT -5
Officer Matthew Francis Segulia
11.30.2006 - A Ramsey County jury convicted a Minneapolis police officer today of obstructing legal process and possessing a gun while intoxicated, but acquitted him on a domestic violence charge.
The jury's verdict means Officer Matthew Francis Segulia will be able to keep his job, his defense attorney said. All three charges were misdemeanors, but a domestic violence conviction could have meant that Segulia could not legally carry a gun.
"The correct verdict was found on the domestic assault," said defense attorney Eileen Bergmann. "We're pleased."
Ramsey County District Judge Thomas Mott will sentence Segulia on the two convictions in January.
The charges stemmed from an incident Nov. 18, 2005, in St. Paul. Two St. Paul plainclothes officers were driving through the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood when they saw Segulia shove his ex-girlfriend in her driveway, causing her to fall.
The officers approached Segulia as he started to get into his pickup truck. Segulia did not follow the officers' instructions, according to police. Instead, he identified himself as a Minneapolis officer and began to struggle.
St. Paul officers used a stun gun on Segulia as he reached for his fanny pack. St. Paul officers later discovered a loaded handgun in Segulia's pack. Segulia had a blood-alcohol content of 0.21 percent at the time of his arrest, according to police.
Segulia testified in his own defense that the woman had attacked him on prior occasions and had grabbed his arm when he pushed her off. He said he reacted in self-defense and that what occurred was not an assault. Segulia said he went to her house to pick up a truck he loaned to the woman.
The woman, Jillaine Bieniek, also testified for the defense, saying she fell to the ground after stumbling over debris in the driveway.
Jurors heard about the couple's tumultuous, on-again, off-again relationship that resulted in criminal charges against both of them.
Segulia had an active restraining order forbidding Bieniek from approaching his St. Paul home or his place of work in Minneapolis. In July 2005, Bieniek pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after she showed up at Segulia' s house. In October 2005, Bieniek pleaded guilty to violating the restraining order.
Segulia was charged with domestic assault in February 2005 against Bieniek for a separate incident at his home but prosecutors dismissed the charges when he claimed self-defense.
Segulia was convicted of drunken driving in 1995.
Bergmann said Segulia remains on the Minneapolis police force.
"He's a great cop, " Bergmann said. "That's where he should be."