HOLLIDAYSBURG - The Altoona man who caused a furor at Pellegrine's Lounge more than two years ago when he allegedly improperly touched a police officer's wife was sentenced Tuesday to nine to 18 months in prison.
Herman "Bo" Lardieri, 40, will serve that sentence consecutive to the 14-month sentence he is now serving at a state correctional institution for bad checks.
A Blair County jury in July was unable to decide if Lardieri had "violated" the officer's wife, but it found him guilty of lying to a statewide grand jury about the incident.
Lardieri told the investigative grand jury that he had no contact and no confrontation with Adrienne Eichenlaub, the wife of now-former city patrol officer Duane "D.J." Eichenlaub, 30.
Adrienne Eichenlaub said Lardieri had flipped up her dress during the early morning of Memorial Day, 2010, and she felt his hand on her leg.
Duane Eichenlaub and a police colleague, Eric R. Kriner, 31, have been charged with assault for following Lardieri into the men's room at the lounge and allegedly beating him.
They were charged also with seriously injuring 60-year-old bar patron Earl Eshelman, who was already in the restroom and came to Lardieri's aid.
The two police officers allegedly engineered a cover-up, convincing other officers to leave them out of a police report of the incident. They are scheduled for trial in November.
Blair County Judge Hiram A. Carpenter said Tuesday that Lardieri's denial that he and Adrienne Eichenlaub had at least a war of words that night was not the worst lie he's ever heard.
"There have been fabrications a lot worse that that," he said after Lardieri's attorney, Mark Zearfaus, asked for a sentence to run concurrent with the bad check sentence he already is serving.
Carpenter said, however, that the other side of the story is that the integrity of the grand jury must be protected.
There has to be a deterrence, Carpenter said. "No question, it is a very real concern," he added.
He sentenced Lardieri to a consecutive prison term, meaning Lardieri could remain in prison until spring 2014.
He is eligible for the state Risk Recidivism Reduction Initiative, which would allow him to serve less time behind bars.
Deputy Attorney General Mike Sprowl asked Carpenter to impose a longer sentence on Lardieri because he showed no remorse and took no responsibility for what occurred at the bar.
Zearfaus presented a different view of Lardieri, stating he has a lengthy criminal record that includes bad checks, forgery and theft, crimes committed to finance a drug habit.
"He is the first to tell you getting into drugs is the worst thing he ever did," Zearfaus stated
He said Lardieri, who is housed at SCI Mercer, is finally getting the treatment he has needed.
Adrienne Eichenlaub and her mother attended the hearing for Lardieri, but she did not speak. She also declined comment afterward.
The hearing was conducted by videoconference with Lardieri speaking from the state prison, while the rest of the participants gathered in a meeting room on the third floor of the courthouse.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.