Two Convictions Overturned in Attack on Man in Village
An appeals court overturned the convictions of two women accused in the beating and stabbing of a man who they said made unwanted sexual advances to them in Greenwich Village two years ago.
By JOHN ELIGON
Published: June 20, 2008
New York Times
An appeals court on Thursday overturned the convictions of two women accused in the beating and stabbing of a man who they said made unwanted sexual advances to them in Greenwich Village two years ago.
One of the women, Terrain Dandridge, whom a jury found guilty of second-degree gang assault, had her conviction reversed and indictment dismissed; as a result she can no longer be tried on those charges. A four-judge panel of the Appellate Division in Manhattan ruled that there was not enough evidence to support a guilty verdict for Ms. Dandridge. She had been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
The second woman, Renata Hill, who was found guilty of second-degree gang assault and third-degree assault, had her gang assault conviction vacated, but she can be retried on the charge. The court ruled that the judge’s instructions to the jury on the charge were erroneous and that therefore her conviction could not be upheld.
She was sentenced to eight years in prison, but if the Manhattan district attorney decides against further prosecution, she is likely to be released because the maximum penalty for the third-degree assault is a year and she has already been in prison longer than that.
Alexis Agathocleous, the lawyer who handled Ms. Hill’s appeal, said he was pleased and was hoping “that the district attorney’s office will also do the right thing and dismiss the remaining charge.”
Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, declined to comment. The lawyers for Ms. Dandridge did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
In August 2006, Ms. Dandridge, Ms. Hill and five other women attacked Dwayne Buckle after he made unwanted sexual advances, they said. The women said during their trial last year that they told him they were lesbians and not interested, but that he would not take no for an answer. They said they acted in self-defense.
Mr. Buckle, a film director, testified that while handing out DVDs of his latest film he politely greeted one of the women he thought was attractive and that they started insulting him. Words were exchanged, he said, and the confrontation escalated into violence, with one of the women stabbing him.
Ms. Dandridge, Ms. Hill and two others, Patreese Johnson and Venice Brown, were found guilty of various assault charges, though Ms. Johnson was acquitted of the most serious charge, attempted murder. Appeals for Ms. Johnson and Ms. Brown are still under way.