Friday, July 16, 2010

KY: Appeals court reverses woman's homicide conviction: "The state Court of Appeals overturned the reckless homicide conviction and sentence of a Shepherdsville woman. Janice Hasch was convicted in the April 14, 2008, shooting her husband, Jerald Hasch, in their home and was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in early 2009. She was initially charged with murder, a capital offense to which she pleaded not guilty. After testimony, the jury found her guilty of the reduced charge. But the Court of Appeals ruled that the lesser charge didn't fit. They voted 2-1 that Hasch did not act wantonly or recklessly in her conduct or in her belief in the need for self-protection... Hasch's ability to retreat -- she told investigators she could have left the home -- or the fact that she fired the gun with her eyes closed did not prove she acted recklessly, the opinion said. Police said the couple, who had been married 22 years, had a history of domestic disputes. The appeals court also concluded that Hasch could not be retried on the same or higher charges."

MD: Shooter shot in defense of another: "Montgomery County prosecutors could reduce or drop charges against a homicide suspect because it appears that he shot a man who was about to shoot someone else, according to documents made public Thursday and statements made in court. The suspect, Larry Lamont, 27, is accused of firing multiple rounds at the victim, Marcus Duffin, 27, who had a gun trained on the third man, according to the documents, which were written early in the investigation and rely heavily on Lamont's version of events. Under Maryland law, a homicide defendant can raise a "defense of others" argument at trial, and jurors are instructed to acquit if they determine that the suspect had a reasonable belief that the third party was in imminent danger of bodily harm"

PA: Man in wheelchair acquitted in domestic assault shooting case: "The trial lasted one and a half days and deliberation more than an hour before a jury Thursday acquitted Jesse Oltmanns, 35, of all charges in the November shooting of his girlfriend during a domestic incident at his home. Jurors were convinced his actions were self-defense and took into account that Liguori had returned to his house unwelcomed after being escorted away by police.... Liguori then removed one of several antlered deer heads mounted on the wall above the sofa and threw it at Oltmanns, hitting him but not seriously injuring him. She removed another mounted antlered deer head and threw it to the floor. When she removed the third deer head, held it high and appeared as though she were about to throw it at him, he shot her through the left leg, at which point she dropped the deer head and fell to the floor."

MA: Gun ruling has lawyer making calls: "As state legislators consider limiting the right to buy arms, a Framingham attorney sees better days ahead for those who want to bear arms. ‘It’s a very exciting time,’ said Jesse Cohen, who wants to see ‘how we can dismantle Massachusetts firearms law’ thanks to last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The 5-4 decision on an Illinois handgun ban ‘is, in my opinion, the most monumental firearms law in the history of the United States. Firearms law has been turned on its head, particularly in Massachusetts. ‘That’s not the way Attorney General Martha Coakley sees it.’”

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