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Nico Gallo: Man in Martin County drug-fueled burglary sentenced to 10 years in prison

Posted at 11:35 AM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 18:32:16-04

The 19-year-old man the Martin County Sheriff's Office said attacked a mother and son after jumping through the front window of her home was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday morning.

Nico Gallo, now 20, pleaded guilty to trespassing, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and criminal mischief. 

"I’m sorry, I know words are never going to be enough to fix what’s happened," Gallo said in court.

Gallo's lawyers said he received three 5-year sentences and with two of them to be served concurrently and one served consecutively. 

Judge Lawrence Mirman said the sentence should serve as a deterrent for any teen considering taking drugs to understand what the consequences will be if they do.

"I give you my word I’ll make right on this," said Gallo.

Gallo originally was charged with burglary to a home with battery, but the state agreed to reduce that charge to trespassing. The burglary with battery charge carries a life sentence, whereas trespassing is sentenced to up to a year in jail.

The other three charges are third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison each. Judge Mirman ordered Gallo to pay restitution to his victims. 

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said Gallo was high on drugs when he hurled himself through the window of a stranger's home and attacked a homeowner and her son on Aug. 28, 2016.

“He cannonballed through the window, landed on his feet," the woman said in court. She said she then woke her grown son up, got a baseball bat and called 911.

“I was in fear of my life, I was in fear of my son’s life,” the woman said. Her son said he wrestled Gallo to the ground when Gallo wrapped his legs around the man's neck.

The victim struck Gallo in the head with a baseball bat several times and opened her front door to let deputies inside. 

“My son was covered head to toe in blood but it was not his blood,” she said.

Detective Michael McCarthy, a deputy at the time who responded to the call, testified in court Thursday saying Gallo kicked deputies as they tried to place him under arrest.

“The window to the left of the door was completely broken out and shattered,” McCarthy said. “There was a pool of blood on the ground.”

He said Gallo was calm when he got there, but Gallo began screaming, twisted his body, and kicked another deputy in the back.

“It appeared he was having a conversation with Satan,” McCarthy said.

Deputies tried to control Gallo, who was in restraints, but he kept flailing his legs. Gallo tried to “bash his head into the tile floor,” McCarthy said.

“He tried to drink the blood that was pooling from his head,” a second MCSO deputy said in court. 

A third deputy helped put leg restraints on Gallo. 

Gallo’s lawyer said he wrote apology letters to people involved. 

The 911 call placed by the victim was played in the courtroom. She can be heard screaming to dispatchers, saying she didn’t know who the man was that jumped through her window.

“I just hit him two more times and he won’t leave us alone,” the woman said. “He’s not letting up.”

She said she was bleeding from the arms and the man, later identified as Gallo, was bleeding from the head. 

Members of Gallo's family spoke in court, saying he was a good kid and a hard worker. His aunt and uncle said he would have a job and place to live when he is released from custody.

“Let me say, I am sorry for what he did to you,” Gallo's father, Pasquale Gallo, said to the victims in court.

He has remained behind bars since his arrest on a $300,000 bond.