Defense attorney recovers from assault at Erie County Holding Center

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Monday in Erie County Court, Defense attorney Joseph Terranova stood feet away from the man he claims assaulted him days earlier; his client of nine months, Mark Dublino.

Dublino was found guilty in a jury trial of Attempted Murder, Attempted Burglary, Aggravated Criminal Contempt and Assault for attacking his girlfriend with a sledgehammer in 2016. He faces 75 years behind bars.

Following Friday’s alleged attack, he’s now facing Felony Assault and Attempted Assault.

According to Terranova and Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies, the attack occurred when Terranova was meeting with Dublino at the Holding Center March 9.

Terranova says the two were going over appeals paperwork for the case, which was scheduled to be sentenced Monday before Hon. Deborah Haendiges.

“He stood up on a pretense that he was nauseous and then came around the table, pushed down and I was pinned,” Terranova tells News 4 of the attack.

“My head got lumped up, and my forehead got lumped up and my eyes got lumped up.”

MORE | Sheriff: Inmate awaiting sentencing attacks defense attorney

The defense attorney suffered two badly bruised eyes from the assault.

Monday, he was surrounded by several court officers when Dublino was escorted in beside him. Terranova was officially relieved of his duties to represent Dublino; attorney Daniel Grosso will take over the case.

Terranova says the Holding Center’s design isn’t as safe as it could be. He says the rooms are too small to defend yourself in.

According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, this is the first assault that’s occurred in the inmate-attorney area of the Holding Center since it’s construction in 1986.

Erie County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Scott Zylka says attorneys have the right to teleconference with their clients or request additional security if a threat has been made.

“You shouldn’t be locked in, because only one door at a time can be unlocked,” Terranova says.

Terranova also tells News 4 staffing at the Holding Center should be increased, and that the use of panic buttons would make attorneys feel safer.

He’s pushing for changes at the ECHC and says he’s received support from others in the legal community.

Zylka says it’s not possible to compare CO to inmate staffing ratio at the Holding Center to other county facilities due to the fluctuation of population.

He says numerous new deputies were hired after a 2011-2012 employment assessment study by the New York State Commission of Correction (NYSCOC).

“To this day, the Sheriff’s Office maintains the employment level set by the NYSCOC,” Zylka says.

Dublino will be sentenced for the sledgehammer attack March 23. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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