After more than a year behind bars awaiting trial, a Spring Hill man charged with murder in the death of his teenage son was released last week.
But Steven Alfano is not going home; he's going to a hospice, according to court records.
In a motion filed last week to reduce his $450,000 bail, Alfano's attorney, Alan Fanter, said that his client's health had "deteriorated drastically," that his condition was "grave" and that he needed immediate medical treatment. No further details of his condition were provided.
Circuit Judge Stephen Rushing approved the request last Wednesday, reducing Alfano's bail to $8,000. Alfano, 48, posted bail the next day, and left the Hernando County Jail.
"Supposedly, he has some kind of medical issues," prosecutor William Catto said Tuesday. "His doctor is concerned about his medical condition and his ability to be properly treated at the jail. But I don't feel comfortable going into detail about his condition."
A woman who answered the door Tuesday afternoon at Alfano's home, 11718 Linden Drive, said only "goodbye" and quickly retreated inside the house.
Fanter also declined comment other than to say his client had been released from jail. "I'm not saying anything," he said.
Alfano is charged with third-degree murder and one count of child abuse in connection with the June 2008 overdose death of his 15-year-old son, Vincent.
On the morning of June 27, Alfano told deputies he found Vincent in his bedroom and tried to perform CPR.
Vincent was later found to have six types of drugs in his system, according to the medical examiner's office. They included painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, and a form of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
Alfano told deputies that he kept his prescribed medications locked away "so no one other than himself had access to them," according to an arrest affidavit. However, deputies found hundreds of pills easily accessible.
More than a week later, Alfano told two of Vincent's friends that he knowingly gave the drugs to his son, according to authorities.
"I tried to teach him how to party right," Alfano told the two friends, who wore wires as confidential informers for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. The two friends told investigators they had previously purchased prescription drugs from Alfano.
The two informers and another of Vincent's friends told investigators they saw Alfano give prescription drugs to his son. All three witnesses said they saw the father and son crush and snort pills together.
Alfano was later arrested and charged with third-degree murder, which according to Florida statute, can occur when the killing of a person "resulted from the unlawful distribution" of narcotics.
Since then, Alfano has been in custody at the county jail. But as recently as June 12, Fanter sought a motion for a furlough for Alfano. That motion was denied.
Fanter then filed a motion to reduce his $450,000 bail on Sept. 1, and Rushing agreed to the appeal "due to (Alfano's) medical condition," according to court records.
Joel Anderson can be reached at email@example.com or(352) 754-6120.