Girlfriend-slashing state senator Hiram Monserrate hasn't had a lot of luck with Queens judge William Erlbaum. Earlier this summer, Monserrate moved to suppress damning video of himself chasing his girlfriend down the hall as she desperately tried to get help from her neighbors, and yanking her back inside. (In the video, the girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, is holding a towel to her face after having been lacerated in the face with a broken glass.) Erlbaum also rejected Monserrate's attempt to get the indictment and key felony charge against him dismissed. Which is why onlookers were shocked today when lawyer Joe Tacopina waived Monserrate's right to a jury trial, preferring instead to take his chances with only Erlbaum deciding his fate. After hiring a "jury consultant," the state senator's team apparently decided there was no way they could assemble a group of twelve New Yorkers who had read so little news coverage of the alleged crime that they could even entertain the notion of credulity to his side of the story.
Monserrate Waives Right to Jury Trial in Assault Case [City Room/NYT]