On Tuesday, Rocco Costanza was sentenced to 37 years to life in state prison for attacking and beating a couple that was walking their dog on June 4, 2013, one block from their residence in Sonora. Mr. Costanza was charged with Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury to the male victim, and Assault by Means of Force Likely to Cause Great Bodily Injury to the female victim. At trial, the evidence showed that Mr. Costanza appeared to be squatted down talking to a tree when the couple approached. As they got closer, he turned around and started making gorilla noises and movements before charging at the couple. The female was picked up and thrown into the street. When her male partner attempted to come to her aid, Mr. Costanza picked him up and slammed his head into the sidewalk repeatedly until the male lost consciousness. The couple had never met Mr. Costanza prior to that date.
Mr. Costanza was convicted by jury of both charges. The Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury constituted Mr. Costanza’s fourth strike. He has two prior convictions for Robbery and a prior conviction for Criminal Threats. Mr. Costanza will not be eligible for a parole hearing for more than 29 years. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Laura L. Krieg.