Assault Conviction Tossed Out in 2005 Dwan Prince Attack
By: DUNCAN OSBORNE
Source: Gay City News
A state appellate court reversed Steven Pomie's conviction on charges of first-degree assault and first-degree assault as a hate crime in the 2005 anti-gay attack on Dwan Prince, ordered a new trial for Pomie, and said he could only be tried on lesser charges of second-degree assault and second-degree assault as a hate crime.
The assault, which happened in Brooklyn's Brownsville section, left Prince permanently disabled and unable to work.
"The judgment is reversed, on the law and as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, the sentence imposed thereon is vacated, those counts of the indictment charging assault in the first degree and assault in the first degree as a hate crime are dismissed," the four-judge panel wrote in an October opinion which was only recently found by Gay City News. "The matter is remitted... for a new trial on the charges of assault in the second degree and assault in the second degree as a hate crime."
The appellate court ruled that Deborah A. Dowling, Pomie's trial judge, erred in her jury instructions on an element of the verdict that determined if he was guilty of first-degree assault or second-degree assault. The central question was whether Pomie acted with depraved indifference, a requirement for first-degree assault.
"The evidence at trial was legally insufficient to establish the crime of assault in the first degree based on depraved indifference to human life," the appellate court wrote.
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