LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A bodybuilder who allegedly tried to kill his parents on Christmas Day following a custody dispute pleaded not guilty in court Monday after a grand jury indictment for attempted murder and other felony charges.
In court, the defendant's parents showed support for their son, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported.
Rocco Tomassetti is recovering from gunshots to the back and wrist. His wife Vincenza survived a bullet to the head. Prosecutors said thy were shot by their son Dino while embroiled in an argument at the couple's $3.5 million Hewlett Harbor mansion on Christmas.
A Nassau County grand jury returned an indictment for attempted murder.
"It was never the intent of Dino Tomassetti to hurt anyone," defense attorney William Petrillo said. "I think anybody looking at him today could see, even with the mask on, that it was just a highly emotional day for him."
Tomassetti is a personal trainer who often posts his bodybuilding images on Instagram. His father is CEO of a cement company in Maspeth. His mom runs a Long Island dance studio and is active on social media.
In an unusual twist, the victims came to Nassau Criminal Court in support of their son, along with his ex-partner -- the mother of their 2-year-old -- saying the shooting was a tragic mistake.
"His mom, his dad, as well as the mother of his child were all here today in full and complete support of him, as they have been since day one," Petrillo said.
The District Attorney said the confrontation escalated during a custody dispute.
Tomassetti attempted to leave his parents sprawling estate with his toddler. When the family tried to stop him, Tomassetti is accused of pulling out a 22 caliber pistol and firing, then fleeing the crime scene without the child. He was later apprehended in New Jersey.
Despite the family support, Tomassetti is held without bail and ordered to stay away from stalking, harassing or menacing his parents, son and ex.
Prosecutors said his parents are lucky to be alive.
It is unclear if Tomassetti's state of mind will be part of his defense at trial.
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