This is becoming the norm for America. The dead cannot testify, and defendants testify what he or she thought the deceased was going to do that caused them to use discretion to take human life.
Hugh Barry, 32-years old, had been charged with murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for the killing of 66-year old Deborah Danner who was in a mental health crisis.
I followed the trial at this post.
Barry opted for a bench trial. There was no jury and the judge was the only person hearing evidence and deciding the case. Justice Robert A. Neary of State Supreme Court presided over the trial.
Prosecutors argued that Barry created the conditions that placed him within a distance of Deborah Danner that he claimed caused him to feel threatened when Deborah picked up a baseball bat. There were witnesses at trial that testified not seeing Deborah swing the bat at Barry as he claimed. There were also witnesses that testified that they were following their training to calm Deborah down when Barry came into the apartment, walked past them, and entered Deborah’s bedroom.
Barry testified that he could not back away from Deborah because of other officers being too close behind him. Read the rest of this entry
On July 31, 2017, we began following the trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, for killing Anthony Lamar Smith. You can read it at this link. The media provided bits and pieces of what happened at trial because the judge did not allow any cameras nor electronic devices in the courtroom.
This case was controversial for several reasons, but the main reason was because Stockley appeared to have planted a gun in Smith’s car. Stockley’s DNA was found on the gun, but not Smith’s DNA.
Stockley opted for a bench trial. Only the judge decides. There is no jury. Trial ended on August 9, 2017. Judge Timothy J. Wilson stated that he would not have a decision entered until after August 18, 2017. The month of August came and went, and there was no decision. Then came reports that St. Louis was preparing to keep the peace because of potential protests and violence if the judge acquitted Stockley. That was the first indication what the judge’s decision would be.
This morning, Judge Wilson entered a 30 page decision that you can read at this link. He entered a ruling of not guilty of first degree murder and not guilty of armed criminal action, saying that the state failed to meet its burden of proof. The judge’s decision sounds as if he would have decided guilty for involuntary manslaughter had the state sought those charges.
This is the decision of the court. The United States does not allow prosecutors to appeal unfavorable decisions. They get one chance only.
Oddly enough, had Anthony Lamar Smith been a defendant and the judge found him guilty and wrote the following in his decision, Anthony might have a good basis to appeal. It’s a statement as to whether Anthony was or wasn’t armed. Judge Wilson wrote on page 26;
“Finally, the Court observes, based on its nearly thirty years on the bench, that an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.”
The Baltimore Sun reports that Officer Ceasar Goodson Jr., who faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, has been acquitted of all charges.
Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr., 46, had faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in Gray’s arrest and death last April, including second-degree depraved heart murder. Goodson was also acquitted of three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Freddie Gray was 25 years old when he suffered a fatal spinal injury while in the back of the police van driven by Goodson.
Goodson opted for a bench trial before Circuit Judge Barry Williams. Judge Williams said the timeline of Gray’s injuries remains unclear, and the state “failed to meet its burden” to present enough evidence to back its assertions. “As the trier of fact, the court can’t simply let things speak for themselves,” stated Judge Williams. Read the rest of this entry
Hat tip to peni4yothot.
It is Saturday. Who would have thought that a judge would announce a verdict on a weekend?
In April, we reported on the events that led to charges of voluntary manslaughter for Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo. Yahtzeebutterfly has been keeping it updated with trial videos and information.
A Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo. Brelo’s trial began on April 6, 2015. He choose a bench trial. Today, Saturday, May 23, 2015, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell acquitted Brelo of all charges.
Brelo will remain on unpaid suspension.