General Crime

* Michael Albini Pleads No Contest To Discharging Firearm

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A man who was involved in a standoff with Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies in July pleaded no contest this morning in Sonoma County Superior Court to discharging a firearm in a negligent manner. Michael Albini, 48, of Santa Rosa, was arrested for terrorist threats, assault with a deadly weapon, using force or violence to resist arrest and negligent discharge of a firearm after the five-hour standoff July 26 on Bucks Road in unincorporated Sonoma County south of Santa Rosa. He was charged with discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person who was convicted of a misdemeanor offense.

Albini faces three years’ probation and one year in county jail when he is sentenced Nov. 1. Sheriff’s deputies responded to 317 Buck Road at 5:45 p.m. on July 26 after receiving reports from Albini’s roommate that gunshots were coming from inside the house, sheriff’s deputies said. Initial reports indicated that Albini was holding hostages inside the house. Sheriff’s deputies spoke with Albini from a bedroom window, but he refused to exit the home and began breaking items inside the house, sheriff’s Lt. Clint Shubel said. Sheriff’s deputies began evacuations of nearby homes and members of the SWAT team and the sheriff’s hostage negotiators team responded to the scene. Negotiators eventually made phone contact with the alleged hostages. All of the residents were safely evacuated from the house except Albini, who refused to come out, Shubel said.

Negotiations with Albini continued for several hours and authorities suspected he was becoming increasingly intoxicated. After about an hour without contact with Albini, a bomb squad unit maneuvered a remote-controlled robot into the house and located him lying near a bed, Shubel said. Albini appeared extremely intoxicated and was unresponsive, according to the sheriff’s office. Members of the SWAT team took Albini into custody without further incident. Court records show Albini has misdemeanor convictions for assault, DUI, obstructing a police officer and battery since 1994.

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