Judge rejects Hempfield man’s plea bargain in knife attack case
A Westmoreland County judge on Wednesday rejected a proposed plea bargain for a Hempfield man charged with injuring a neighbor during a knife attack in June.
Vincente Alejo Andres, 34, was expected to plead guilty to aggravated assault and simple assault charges in return for nine to 23 months in jail.
Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio halted Wednesday’s hearing after she was told attack victim Ian Smail opposed the deal.
“The victim is in opposition and wants the opportunity to speak,” Assistant District Attorney Pete Flanigan said. “The victim’s injuries were really horrific and he was in surgery yesterday and as a result of these injuries he couldn’t be here today.”
Smail was punched in the head and face as many as 15 times and his face was slashed with a knife, police said.
Bilik-DeFazio ordered Andres, who is in jail in lieu of $100,000 bond, to appear next month for a status conference and to hear from Assistant District Attorney Allen Powanda, who negotiated terms of the proposed plea deal.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .