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JOE DASILVA CASE: Sentencing day rough transcript

Here’s a transcription of my notes from the sentencing. The following are paraphrased remarks and are close to word for word as possible.

Prosecutor speaks:

On November 6 2009, a life was dramatically changed (Photo of Luis Encalada Bueno is projected on a screen).

Luis Encalada Bueno left behind children, and 2 widows who are now forced to become the financial providers and well being of the children (photos of Luis E. and his family are shown).

On 11.05.09, a group of friends went to 58 Town Hill Ave, a place thought to be a friends place. They ate, drank, and enjoyed each other’s company. (Pictures of immigrants who were at Town Hill Ave displayed on the screen).

On 11.06.09, an occupant on the first floor (Brian Ferguson) noticed water leakage and called Rolando DaSilva, who then contacted Joe DaSilva.

DaSilva learned of people on the 2nd floor of the apartment, told Rolando to stay out of the way, went upstairs, yelled “get the fuck out my house,” and threw the people out.

There was no discussion [between DaSilva and the people in the apartment].

Joe DaSilva kicked them down the stairs. Survivors informed police that DaSilva said “get the fuck out” and kicked them in the back. They found Luis Encalada Bueno at 66 Town Hill Ave unable to speak and screaming in pain (picture of location where Luis Encalada Bueno was located (66 Town Hill Ave) displayed on the screen.
Picture of a duffle bag found at 58 Town Hill Ave belonging to L. E. is displayed on the screen. Prosecutor states that inside duffle bag were personal belongings of Luis Encalada Bueno, which included pictures of his children.

Luis Encalada Bueno last words were “DaSilva hit me”

Danbury PD went to DaSIlva’s home and instead of telling the truth, DaSIlva told nothing but lies. He said he was not at 58 Town Hill Ave and hasn’t been there in months.
“We know that this is not true.”

Cause of death was determined to be a laceration of the liver due to blunt force trauma.

The defended plead guilty to the following charges:

  • Criminal negligent homicide, an action that results in the death of another person.
  • 2nd degree assault, which is defined as serious physical injury to another person.

Facts of the presentence investigation (PSI): DaSilva engaged in conduct…forcefully threw out people…”didn’t care what happened to them.”

Luis Encalada Bueno came here nine years ago for a better life. Under no circumstances did he have to leave like this (picture of Luis Encalada Bueno deceased covered body is shown).

This defendant has over 400 properties in Danbury and knows right from wrong. There is a right way to deal with people who are in your apartment illegally, DaSlva chose the wrong way.
Prosecutor calls for the max time in incarceration with community service for each year of probation, no future episodes of assault or harassment.

Defense attorney:

This is a tragic situation.

I want to paint a different situation. Not here to argue the case as my client took a plea to reduced charges. The people [thrown out at the Town Hill Ave apartment] had no business at the apartment. No right whatsoever to be there. They were squatters.

Squatters have been a problem for DaSilva for years.

Nice for the prosecution to pain that particular picture of Bueno and his friends drinking, eating and enjoying themselves but this is so far removed from the truth. They were drinking towards the point of oblivion, they were highly intoxicated, and they were passed out.

The defendant has the right to use reasonable force in this instance.  They were drinking, smoking, cooking, and using power in the building. They created a dangerous situation and if people were killed [due to a fire hazard] DaSilva could be here in court under different circumstances.

Joe DaSilva did many positive things for people in Danbury and each time he did this, he made a deposit into a humanity bank account. In terms of sentencing, he should be allowed to draw from that account.

Joe DaSilva tried to improve Danbury and he put money into revitalizing downtown Danbury. Everyone here has benefited from DaSIlva’s contributions to Danbury.

Friends and supporters of DaSilva:

Rich McKean:

I worked with Joe DaSilva for 10 years.
He [DaSilva} believes in people and has a big heart but not everyone knows it because he doesn’t get good press. He helped many businesses, helped tenants who would otherwise be rejected by other landlords. I never understood why he would rent to people who could not afford to pay…

Andrea Gartner, Exe. Director, City Center:

Five years as Exe. Director of City Center (2/2007).
DaSilva gave a great amount of funds to better the community. In 07, I asked DaSilva to allow City Center to use the Palace Theatre DaSilva did not charge City Center to use the building for First Night and that has not changed.
DaSilva was instrumental to the expansion of the Naugatuck Valley Community College.
As a member of the Main Street Revitalization Task Force, Gartner saw DaSilva attend the meetings first hand and was an active member of the committee.
Praised DaSilva for renovations made to the Palace Theatre. Praised DaSilva for working to get grants for the Palace Theatre.

Steve Greenburg: Chairman, Charles Ives Authority

Known Joe DaSilva for 17 years.

Worked with Joe DaSilva on a number of affordable housing issues in the city.

Joe is a very good son. Took care of his mother “like a good son should.” That’s the Joe DaSilva I would like you to take into consideration. Joe gives people a second chance…took care of people who would otherwise be out on the streets.

Carol Spiegel: Outreach Director, Palace Theatre

Joe DaSilva treats people with care and respect. Joe DaSilva, the richest man in Danbury, looks out for everybody. He’s a nice fair man.

Gregory Klein: attorney with Alan Barry & Associates and representative for victim’s family.

The victim has 11 children with 4 in school.

DaSilva stepped up and did the right thing in settlements with the families.

Message from the family: No one calling for sentencing or punishment but wants the court to be an independent for justice and want a sentencing without hometown favoritism. Family initially wanted trial moved from Danbury to a neutral location such as Bridgeport.

Victim family lives in a shack and children lost their father, a wife lost her husband…their perception of justice depends on what happens in this courtroom today.

Steve Oliver: Personal Attorney for DaSilva.

DaSilva was taught by his father “that there is no honest labor that is beneath you” and he lived by that motto.

As a landlord, DaSilva always used the eviction process as a last resort and always tried to work out situations with his tenants who were behind in their rent. He always took in people who had no place else to go.

DaSilva was a one man social agency in the 25 years he’s been running his business.

We worked 14 hours straight for two days in working on a settlement with the victim’s family.

Joe Dailva speaks

I regret my actions on that day. I’m very sorry for a life that was loss.

I always tried to do the right thing for the city of Danbury. I made mistakes…I am sorry.

Defense Attorney again asked for probation, citing DaSilva’s contribution and generosity to the city of Danbury.

Prosecution states that there are two sides to DaSilva, the person described by his supporters and the person who’s actions at Town Hill Ave in Nov, 09. There is a conflict with the defendant. On 11/06/09, DaSilva did not care about the state of the people in the apartment.

Judge calls a recess for five minutes.

[…]

Judge resumes sentencing:

I’m not from Danbury till six months ago. I’m a stranger to this incident.

Case must be judged on the merits.

I received many heartfelt letters from the community that described the many good deeds DaSilva didi in Danbury without seeking publicity.

“Aspects of your character are in direct conflict with the circumstances that brought you here today.”

You were no threat to society…the court has no reason not to believe this. Joe DaSilva lost his temper and his temper won out. Instead of calling Danbury PD on the squatters, he threw them out. Having a BAC of .381, 4X the legal limit, would make the ability for one to go down stairs highly unlikely.

So many factors would tip to probation but the fact that a man being dead and DaSilva not being truthful to the police is a heavy counterweight. Nothing can change the fact that a person died due to his actions.

One person is a landlord, another person is an immigrant from a peasant village…no person is above or below the law…we are a nation of immigrants.

  • Count of 2nd degree assault serious physical injury (53a60a): 5 years, suspended after 18 months. 5 years probation.
  • Count of assault in the third degree (53a61): 6 months
  • Count of crim. neg. homicide (53a58): 1 year

5 years incarceration, suspended after 18 months. Five years probation.

DaSilva did not tell the truth to the police.

If no fatality, it would be a different case; if no intoxication, it would be a different case.

DaSilva placed into handcuffs.

Also order anger management as part of probation, 250 hours of community service.

Right to sentence review.

Stand adjourned

DaSilva escorted out of courtroom by marshals.