A Windsor man charged with a hate crime in a summer attack on two black men outside a Santa Rosa McDonald's rejected the prosecutors' offer Thursday to settle the case.
Salvatore Ezio Bordessa, 33, an alleged member of a white supremacist gang, could be sentenced to 16 years to life if convicted at trial.
He turned down a plea bargain carrying a 10-year prison sentence, against the advice of attorney Joe Passalacqua.
"I totally understand," Bordessa, who is in custody, told Judge Gary Medvigy when asked if he was sure he didn't want the deal. "Thank you."
His preliminary hearing is Tuesday. Prosecutors plan to present evidence against him and co-defendant Vanessa Anne Michaels, 25, of Novato. Police said Michaels prevented the victims from calling 911 while Bordessa and Aaron Joseph Welch attacked them.
Welch, 27, of Clearlake, has already admitted his role, accepting a deal in January to serve 15 years in prison. He remains in Sonoma County jail pending sentencing.
Police said the three were outside the Santa Rosa Avenue McDonald's on Aug. 26 when they confronted two black men.
Bordessa and Welch are suspected of beating and stabbing at least one of the men after yelling racial slurs and shouting references to the Barbarian Brotherhood. Prosecutors say the two men have ties to the white prison gang.
Michaels, who also faces a sentence of 16 years to life, is charged with aiding the men by grabbing a cellphone from a witness so the person could not call the police. Prosecutor Jason Riehl did not extend a settlement offer to Michaels.
Bordessa and Welch were arrested in October and Michaels was picked up in December.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.