WILKES-BARRE – A city man charged in 2008 with the death of his father appeared Tuesday in Luzerne County Court, where he was sentenced in retail theft cases.
Ernest Zalaffi Jr., 41, of Parkview Circle, was sentenced on seven counts of retail theft to 18 months in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program, with the first three months on house arrest with an electronic monitor.
Zalaffi pleaded guilty to the charges in October.
In September 2008, Zalaffi entered a no-contest plea to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years probation in the February 2008 death of his 64-year-old father, Ernest Zalaffi Sr.
In that case, police and emergency personnel were called to the Zalaffi Sr.'s home because Zalaffi Sr. was having a heart attack. Police said Zalaffi Jr. told them he and his father were fighting before the elder Zalaffi collapsed. Zalaffi Jr. told police the fight got physical and his father punched him in the face.
Zalaffi Sr. was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
Zalaffi Jr. said Tuesday he has been off drugs and alcohol for an extended period and was working full time to get his life back on track.
Assistant District Attorney Mamie Phillips asked Judge Fred Pierantoni to impose a term of imprisonment on Zalaffi because of the number of charges he faced. Phillips said a prison sentence was appropriate because of the number of crimes Zalaffi committed over a one-year period.
You've worked for 25 years. There is no excuse for your actions, Pierantoni said, adding a warning about any future court appearances. Don't come back.
According to court papers, on April 13, 2011, Zalaffi entered the Price Chopper in Edwardsville and took $291 in merchandise, including lobster tails, crabmeat and a male enhancement drug.
The following month, police said, Zalaffi entered Wegmans in Wilkes-Barre Township on two different occasions, stealing steak, tenderloin roast, hot dogs, crabmeat and lobster meat.
On June 28, 2011, Zalaffi entered the Rite Aid in Shavertown and took a DVD player and Gatorade packets.
In August 2011 Zalaffi was charged with taking merchandise from Walmart; in November 2011 with stealing items from Price Chopper in Edwardsville; and January 2012 with taking items from Schiel's Market in Wilkes-Barre.