Friday, January 22, 2010
Some Idiot On the Jury Watched this Video and Doesn't See an Assault!
This from the Seattle Post Intelligencer website as reported by Levi Pulkkinne
"After two days of deliberation, a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of fired King County Deputy Sheriff Paul Schene, accused of assault related to an incident involving a 15-year-old girl. The jury sent a note to the court saying that it could not reach a verdict. A judge then declared a mistrial in the case. A prosecutor said Schene would be retried. The jury was split 11-1 to convict him, King County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Dan Donohoe said.
'We're disappointed that we weren't able to persuade all 12 jurors that Deputy Schene's conduct was lawful,' defense attorney Peter Offenbecher said following the mistrial.
Facing misdemeanor assault charges [!!!!], Schene had contended he used only 'the amount of force I thought to be reasonable' when he kicked and punched Malika Calhoun in a SeaTac holding cell. Surveillance video showed the violent altercation, in which Schene pulled the girl to the cell floor by her hair. The Nov. 29, 2008, incident began with a traffic stop, when Schene and his partner, trainee Travis Brunner, pulled over Calhoun and a friend just after 2:30 a.m. The car, investigators came to believe, had been taken from Calhoun's guardian earlier in the night.
Once at the small jail, though, Schene began implying Calhoun was a prostitute and deriding both girls as 'stupid and ugly,' Ernsdorff said. Schene, he said, eventually started examining photos on the girl's cell phone without her permission or lawful authority.
That sour mood took a violent turn after Calhoun, [was] asked to remove her shoes by Schene, kicked a sneaker at the deputy. Holding cell video clearly shows Schene charging into a holding cell after Calhoun kicked the shoe. Testifying in his own defense, Schene said that he only moved on the 120-pound girl after she kicked a soft-soled basketball shoe at his groin. Schene, as shown on the video, stormed into the holding cell, kicking Calhoun in the hip before grabbing her by the hair. It appears Schene also delivered a punch to the girl's face before dragging her to the ground, where he punched the Calhoun twice more before cuffing her with Brunner's help. While Schene did file a 'use of force' notice with his supervisor following the incident, he did not note that he'd kicked or punched the girl.
Doing so, Deputy Prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff noted, would have made a full investigation mandatory. Instead, the incident was classified as minor and would not have been reviewed by internal investigations had not a detective found video of the alleged assault while investigating Calhoun for assault on an officer.
Sheriff Sue Rahr fired Schene, 32, in September for numerous policy violations that included using excessive force and making false statements. His union is appealing his termination. His partner, Deputy Travis Brunner, received a five-day suspension for his role in the incident. Ernsdorff also noted that Schene later claimed the flipped shoe caused a 'blood-filled pocket' to form in his leg. Schene admitted the mistake on the stand, saying he initially believed the injury to have been caused by the shoe but now realizes he injured himself on the cell toilet during the altercation.
Charged with fourth-degree assault, Schene's trial before King County Superior Court Judge Michael Fox concluded late Wednesday. Facing a fourth-degree assault charge, Schene remained out of custody pending the case's resolution."
If that had occured in Bad Lawyer-land, there would have been no video, and Miss Calhoun would have been charged with felonious assault. Miss Calhoun is lucky that Deputy Schene didn't kill her. Did I mention, he's trying to get his job back?