Bench warrant issued for Sean O’Neill Jr., accused of violating parole
Updated at 10 p.m. to add comment from defense attorney
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
A bench warrant has been issued for 23-year-old Sean O. O’Neill Jr., whose history of high-profile offenses includes driving drunk into a garage last year and fatally shooting a friend at an underage drinking party in 2006.
“Sean O’Neill is a convicted criminal who is abusing the system,” said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. ”From his juvenile conduct to his criminal record as an adult, he has shown a complete lack of respect for the law.”
O’Neill was sentenced to 60 days to six months in prison in July for crashing his Cadillac SUV into the garage of a house on Westtown Road in West Goshen the early morning of Nov. 24, 2011, Hogan said. He added that three people were asleep in the home at the time and that O’Neill’s blood-alcohol level was .258, more than three times the legal limit.
Hogan said O’Neill served his prison time, but remains on parole and has allegedly tested positive for alcohol and then illegal drugs. He subsequently absconded from parole supervision, Hogan said.
“We have received some information that O’Neill has fled the country,” said Hogan. “If that is true, good riddance. If he remains in the United States, we will catch him and bring him to justice.”
O’Neill’s attorney, Vincent P. DiFabio, said he had not spoken to O’Neill in weeks. “I was surprised to hear he absconded,” DiFabio said. “I hope for his sake that he’ll turn himself in; it’s in his best interest to do so.”
In September 2006, O’Neill shot and killed his friend, Scott Sheridan, at the O’Neill’s former home in Willistown Township, where he was hosting an underage drinking party while his parents were at the Jersey Shore. O’Neill was charged as an adult, but his case was transferred to juvenile court where he was adjudicated delinquent on involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges.
The investigation into Sheridan’s death prompted a search of the O’Neills’ residence that led to a federal firearms conviction for O’Neill’s father, Sean O. O’Neill Sr., an undocumented immigrant and former Delaware County pub owner. He was deported to Ireland last year after serving an 18-month jail sentence.
Another of the family’s three children, Roisin O’Neill, 26, is serving a 5-to-10-year prison term for a Sept. 19, 2008, fatality. She admitted driving drunk in the wrong direction on the Blue Route in Plymouth Township, causing a crash that killed Patricia Murphy Waggoner, 63, a grandmother from Brimfield, Mass. The O’Neills’ youngest child has been cited for underage drinking.