Valley convenience store owner seeks new trial - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Valley convenience store owner seeks new trial

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George Rafidi George Rafidi
CLEVELAND, Ohio -

A local convenience store operator who was originally scheduled to be sentenced next week for assaulting a federal officer is instead waiting to find out if he'll be granted a new trial.

U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Gaughan has agreed to delay Tuesday's scheduled sentence for George Rafidi, who was convicted in April of assaulting a federal officer and possessing a firearm in connection with a violent felony.

The delay comes on the heels of defense motion claiming that federal prosecutors failed to tell Rafidi's lawyers about the existence of an animated 3-D re-creation of the incident in which the 60-year-old Rafidi allegedly pointed a gun at a federal agent who was part of the search at Rafidi's Pleasant Valley Drive home last October.

Investigators say that when Rafidi answered the door he made threatening remarks and was carrying a gun. One special agent was injured jumping from the porch to safety.

Lordstown Police Detective Chris Bordonaro fired four shots during the incident, but no one was wounded by the gunfire.

Attorney Mark Allenbaugh argues that the defense didn't learn about the existence of the 3-D animation until the trial was underway.

In addition to not having the animation, the defense says there was not enough documentation into the investigation that cleared Detective Bordonaro of any wrongdoing when he fired shots at Rafidi.

Attorney Allenbaugh says the evidence could possibly have been used to impeach the testimony of Bordonaro and a Special Agent who was also involved in executing the search warrant.

Finally, the defense also argues that a juror slept through what the attorney Allenbaugh characterizes as a significant portion of Rafidi's trial.

The U.S. Attorney did not oppose the sentencing delay.

No date has been set to hear the motion for a new trial.

The search of Rafidi's home and the Breaden Market which he owns in Youngstown was related to a food stamp fraud investigation being conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Inspector General, U.S. Marshals and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

There has been no information released on the results of that investigation

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