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CrimePlastic surgeon Matthew Bonanno shows up for grand jury but declines to testify in weapon case

18:35  10 september  2019
18:35  10 september  2019 Source:   lohud.com

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The plastic surgeon whose cache of weapons was discovered after Tuckahoe police were told he threatened to kill his estranged wife chose not to testify before a grand jury on Friday, his lawyer said.

Plastic surgeon Matthew Bonanno shows up for grand jury but declines to testify in weapon case© Tania Savayan/The Journal News Plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Bonanno, who is accused of criminal possession of a large cache of weapons after he was allegedly heard at a bar threatening to kill his estranged wife and family, leaves Tuckahoe Village Court Aug. 20, 2019

Dr. Matthew Bonanno was brought to the Westchester County Courthouse from the jail in Valhalla Friday morning, when the grand jury was going to begin hearing evidence in the case. But he and his lawyer, Paul Gentile, decided against testifying after meeting with prosecutors.

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"In the end it didn't make sense for him to subject himself to that," Gentile said, adding that it was clear Bonnano would have difficulty convincing grand jurors not to indict him.

Prosecutors were not calling the estranged wife, who Gentile said would have testified that Bonanno wasn't a threat. And they didn't plan to explore how intoxicated the friend was when he contacted police.

"He wants his name cleared in terms of the threat,"  Gentile said, who added that he was also concerned about his client's appearance if he testified in the disheveled clothing he showed up in from the jail. "He's not a danger to anyone; he's never been a danger to anyone."

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The Great Neck plastic surgeon accused of stockpiling weapons and threatening his estranged wife declined to testify today before a grand jury . Police also searched two other homes he owns in Mount Pleasant and Great Neck. Investigators say they found more weapons in both of the houses.

Dr. Matthew Bonanno was arrested last week outside a Tuckahoe bar after a bystander allegedly overheard him threatening to kill his ex-wife and her family. A lawyer for Matthew Bonanno says he wanted the doctor's estranged wife to testify saying she would have said her husband posed no threat.

Meanwhile, prosecutors told Gentile that Nassau County authorities have an arrest warrant for Bonanno charging him in connection with additional weapons found in his Great Neck apartment.

Bonnano, 47, was arrested Aug. 12 after the friend he was drinking with at a Tuckahoe bar notified police that Bonanno had a gun and had threatened to kill his estranged wife and her family.

That handgun, a loaded Glock semi-automatic, was subsequently found in the glove compartment of the friend's car. Inside Bonanno's BMW SUV, which was parked at the wife's home, police also found five fully loaded assault rifles; three other handguns; 1,600 rounds of ammunition; 29 loaded high-capacity magazines; a stun gun; knives; body armor; a ballistic helmet; face masks; handcuffs; brass knuckles; pepper spray; and other paraphernalia.

At Bonanno's parents' home in Mount Pleasant there were three more unlicensed handguns.

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Prosecutors have said Bonanno bought all the weapons a year ago, spending $46,000.

Gentile insists his client is a gun collector and outdoorsman.

Plastic surgeon Matthew Bonanno shows up for grand jury but declines to testify in weapon case© Mark Vergari/The Journal News Authorities display a vast variety of weapons and other material that was confiscated after the arrest of 47-year-old Matthew Bonanno in Tuckahoe on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. The weapons are seen Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019.

He said Bonanno had spent the entire day with his estranged wife, first at a family outing and then at dinner with her and her daughter. The estranged wife showed up at Bonanno's bail hearing Wednesday, where Gentile said she wanted him out of jail so he could continue to support the family and that she did not consider him a threat.

Prosecutors have said that the wife had kept a record of Bonanno's threats since 2012, some of which she had reported to police. Gentile downplayed those, saying his recent behavior was more significant.

"If things are so bad in the past, why is she showing up for him (in court)?" he asked.

Bonanno was held for a week without a Tuckahoe judge granting him bail. It was expected he would be released after a county judge set bail Wednesday at $100,000 cash or $500,000 bond. But he remained at the jail, Gentile said, because he doesn't have the money to make the "very high" bail.

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"Everyone thinks he's a plastic surgeon so he's rich. He's not," Gentile said. "He works in a medical group. He has a salary."

Bonanno has not been charged in connection with the alleged threat and prosecutors are likely focusing only on the guns.

Gentile acknowledged on Wednesday that the guns were not registered, that his client had been "tardy" about that.

"The guns are the guns, we'll litigate that in court," he said Friday.

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Twitter: @jonbandler

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Plastic surgeon Matthew Bonanno shows up for grand jury but declines to testify in weapon case

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This is interesting!