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
Deborah Danner was a 66-year old senior citizen with schizophrenia. On October 18, 2016, Deborah was in her Bronx apartment when a neighbor called the police and reported that Deborah was screaming. New York City Police Sergeant Hugh Barry arrived on the scene and shot Deborah dead. For more about what happened, see my post from May 2017.
In May 2017, Barry was charged with murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. His trial began yesterday, January 30, 2018. It is expected to last 3 weeks. Barry has waived his rights to a jury trial and opted for a bench trial. The question to be decided by Judge Robert A. Neary is whether Sergeant Barry had exhausted other options for safely containing Ms. Danner before he fired his pistol. As I’ve written in other posts, this is clearly an abuse of discretion standard; not a beyond a reasonable doubt standard.
Deborah was intelligent. She wrote a six-page essay about her illness to a lawyer saying, “We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead.”