Jurors Convict Vessel Murder in Fatal 2020 Collier County Boat Crash

Collier County

A jury found him guilty of vessel murder after leaving the scene of the boat crash that killed 57-year-old Onofrio Sogio near Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in North Naples and north of Vanderbilt Beach in 2020. Did.

The court was in tears. The victim’s family waited patiently for hours, and after his three years in and out of court, the victim’s son said the family finally felt some sense of closure.

On March 5, 2020, 78-year-old James Allen beat 57-year-old Onofrio Sogio to death on a boat near Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.

A jury of six found Allen guilty on two counts. 1 count of homicide on boat, 2nd degree felony, 2 counts of violating county ordinance.

However, the jury made a unanimous decision that Allen was not guilty of leaving the scene of the shipwreck.

The victim’s son, Nick Sogio, heard the judge read the jury’s verdict aloud. “I just wanted to add that all the emotions that happened today. And one thing that came to the fore this past week was gratitude. Thank you to all the people who jumped up to help both beachgoers and professionals, and to the public servants who have worked tirelessly for 3 years to help bring our families to Florida with some closures brings some security to

We know the jury found Allen guilty on two of the three charges, but we don’t know what the outcome will be. For now, he remains incarcerated at Collier County Jail pending a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 14.

In closing arguments at trial on Thursday, investigators believe Allen and his brother John knew they had hit someone or something, but instead steered the boat.

Allen’s attorney said Allen did everything he could to save the victim, but the state claimed Allen fled in a hurry and did not call 911.

Both sides showed video from the Ritz-Carlton showing Thursday’s crash.

Allen stood up for himself. He told jurors that he saw a swimmer in the water and threw a float at him first. Then he tried to give him a life jacket.

“It was wrapped around your body and I handed him over the front end of the boat. And he said to me, I can’t wear it, so I took it back and put it back on.” ” said Allen.

“Don’t ask you to decide his character, whether he is a bad man, whether he is a good man. I will let you decide his actions. Even if he was an experienced voter, he held him accountable for what he did.

When asked if he was able to get the victims onto the boat, Allen said no.

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