LOCKPORT – David Alfonso may plead guilty Monday in connection with an attempt to kill his girlfriend’s 7-year-old daughter on New Year’s Eve.
Or he may turn the offer down because prosecutors won’t agree to a limit on the length of his prison sentence.
“I don’t know,” court-appointed defense attorney David C. Douglas said Thursday when asked if Alfonso would take the plea even if the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office remains unyielding on a sentencing cap.
In a brief court appearance Thursday, Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said Alfonso is being offered a chance to plead guilty to a reduced charge of attempted first-degree assault.
The maximum sentence for that is 15 years behind bars.
Douglas said he suggested a sentencing limit of 10 years, and the prosecution said no.
If there’s no deal, Alfonso, 28, is scheduled for trial July 29 on an indictment that could bring him a maximum sentence of 25 years if he is convicted as charged.
Douglas also said he has no promises from County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas that she would accept a cap. “She has not said anything,” Douglas said.
The sides have been trying to negotiate a plea deal for more than two weeks.
“I had rather lengthy discussions with Mr. Alfonso over the last week and a half,” Douglas said. The result was that Alfonso said he was willing to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence than 15 years.
Douglas said the defendant has been talking with his mother and wants to do so again over the coming weekend, so Farkas granted Douglas’ request for a brief adjournment.
Alfonso is being held without bail in Niagara County Jail.
He was indicted on charges of attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, first- and second-degree strangulation, second-degree obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.
Alfonso allegedly attacked the girl in her mother’s home on Monroe Street in Lockport, choking her into unconsciousness. Police said he stopped when the 27-year-old mother stabbed him in the back with a knife. She was not charged.
Alfonso, covered in blood, was arrested at Lock and Monroe streets.