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Perjury defendant remains in jail


By TONY HOLT | Hernando Today

Published: December 1, 2010

BROOKSVILLE - A perjury defendant originally charged in a child abuse investigation in 2009 was arraigned Tuesday and remains in jail, but his attorney is hopeful a new judge will dismiss his latest case.

Anton Angelo, 47, was arrested in October on charges of committing perjury in an official proceeding and violation of probation. He is being held at the Hernando County Jail because bail was not granted on the latter charge.

Angelo appeared Tuesday before Circuit Judge Jack Springstead, who was serving his last day on the bench before retiring.

Springstead told defense attorney Jimmy Brown that his motion to dismiss the charges should be brought before the succeeding judge — Daniel Merritt Jr.

Merritt was scheduled to take over the criminal docket Wednesday.

A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Jan. 6, but Brown hopes to present his motions to Merritt sometime this month, he said.

The Russian-born Angelo was charged with perjury because the State Attorney's Office believes he lied on the stand about photographs he had taken of his fiancée, Tai-Ling Gigliotti.

Gigliotti, 51, was convicted in June on two counts of aggravated child abuse. Jurors were convinced she caged and regularly beat her adopted son, who at the time of her arrest was 16 years old.

Angelo lived with Gigliotti and was charged along with her in early 2009. In May of this year, he reached a plea agreement with the State Attorney's Office.

One of his child abuse charges was dropped and he pleaded guilty to the other. He received probation in exchange for testifying against Gigliotti during her trial.

During his testimony, Angelo said he took photographs of Gigliotti that showed bruises.

Defense attorneys in the case argued Gigliotti acted in self-defense when she struck her son with a wooden stick.

Angelo said he took the photographs the same morning the boy escaped from their barricaded house.

Prosecutor Brian Trehy believes that was a lie.

Brown, who represented Gigliotti and is now Angelo's attorney, said more than 50 photographs were taken by the defendant.

About five of them were submitted as evidence. Angelo easily could have been wrong about the specific time the trial exhibit photos were taken, but that doesn't mean his testimony was dishonest, said Brown.

"It was not a direct contradictory statement," Brown said. "It is not perjury to just say something wrong."

While Brown is trying to dismiss the charges, he's also trying to get his client out of jail.

He said he hopes at the very least he can sway Merritt into granting bail for Angelo.

2010 Dec 1