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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 2, 2016

2/2/2013 2:37:00 PM
Piccioli gets 12 years in 2011 Wang shooting death
Michael Antonio Piccioli
Michael Antonio Piccioli

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

CAMP VERDE -- A Verde Village man has been sentenced to prison for 12 years in the shooting death on Sept. 1. 2011, of "Nancy" Xiaorong Wang, who was 23. He could have been sentenced to as much as 22 years.

In a Friday mitigation hearing and sentencing for Michael Antonio Piccioli in Yavapai Superior Court, Defense Attorney Andrew Falick asked Judge Bluff for leniency, contending the killing was an accident that Piccioli did not intend.

Falick presented Investigator Doug Baker of the Public Defender's Office, who said he found that the couple had been dating for six years and living together in Verde Village for a year before she was killed.

Baker said Piccioli was working a swing shift and came home about 10 or 11 that morning to find "Nancy" Wang still sleeping.

He was playing a video game until Wang woke up. When he found a gift item on a shelf had been broken, Wang admitted she broken it and they began to argue.

Piccioli had also been handling his gun because "it was cool," said Baker. He had owned it for about three months, but "Nancy" didn't like the gun and complained.

By defense, Baker said, Piccioli told him he always left the magazine out of the chamber and that was the case when he pointed the gun at "Nancy" to scare her and said something like, "This wouldn't hurt a fly," and pulled the trigger.

The gun had a bullet in the chamber and discharged, striking "Nancy" Wang above the right eye.

Falick played back the 911 call Piccioli made and the sound of his nearly indecipherable wailing silenced the courtroom. The attorney said that Piccioli truly loved "Nancy" and the case was a tragedy but not intentional

He was really "out of it," said Baker, "crying and screaming." He finally admitted shooting her, but he said he never kept the weapon "hot, ready to fire."

Ireland was not so sure. He said Piccioli had some drinking issues and consumed a 40-ounce bottle of beer when he came home. His video game was "Call of Duty," a first-person shooting game. Ireland said he pulled the hammer of the Sig Sauer 9mm semi-automatic handgun, pointed it at "Nancy" and pulled the trigger. "There is no accident in any of those actions."

Ireland asked, "If it was an accident, why did it take 5 and a half hours for the defendant to tell police what happened?'

He asked the court for the maximum of 20 years in prison.

Piccioli, himself, took the stand to be questioned. He told the court he WAS born in Tucson to a woman named April, but placed in a foster home when he was 5 after she broke a liquor bottle over the head of another person waiting for a payphone. Eventually, adopted by Tom and Jody Piccioli, he said his new family gave him love, acceptance and opportunities.

Joyce Wang of California, the dead girl's mother, did not wish to attend the sentencing, but in a letter to the court hoped that Michael, "would ask God for forgiveness and be a true witness for Christ."

Joyce Wang, who Michael said did not speak much English, wrote through a Mandarin interpreter, "I will accept and respect the judgment of the court."

Of the 12-year sentence, Piccioli will be credited for 518 days spent in jail. He must also pay $11,120.20 in restitution and have no contact with the victim's family in California.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2015
Article comment by: John Castillo

He took away a lot of people's joy because of selfishness and will be released for pointing a firearm at someone he "loved's" head.

RIP Nancy we will miss you

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: In shock from cottonwood

I have a friend who is serving 5 and half yrs for a aggravated dui.. didnt hurt anyone or anything. and hes serving half the time this man is getting for murder.. accident or not.. not only that my friend is paying 5 grand in fines.. also a lil less than half of what this man has to pay.. something is seriously wrong here.. How can this poor womans life mean so little...

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: Some Justice

Itís no wonder thereís so many shootings these days. It takes 1 year or more before a killer is given a plea deal, this guy killed his girl friend and only receives a 12 year sentence. The justice system has become so lenient. There always seems to be a plea offer for murder, child molestation, etc. Plain and simple, no plea deals. The person either committed the crime or did not, in which case they are given the opportunity to prove their innocence. The justice system must change. Maybe these heinous crimes would drop in this country if there were harsher sentences given.

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