Friday, February 11, 2011

Jury Deliberates For Over An Hour Before Verdict Is Given

SNOW HILL -- A jury of Sherrick Martel Handy's peers deliberated for slightly more than an hour Thursday before rendering a not guilty verdict on all charges.

Handy had been charged with first- and second-degree rape, first- and third-degree burglary, second-degree assault and false imprisonment in the alleged attack of his former fiancee during June of last year.

Testimony in the two-day trial concluded Wednesday, with closing statements being delivered to the jury Thursday morning.

Assistant State's Attorney Diane Cuilhe urged jurors to look at the consistency of the victim's statement and the fact the defendant denied he had been at her apartment at the time of the attack to police when first questioned. DNA evidence, she said, later forced him to admit his presence.

Cuilhe also pointed to inaccuracies in Handy's testimony and reason for being at the victim's house at an odd hour.

"Why did he find it appropriate to call her up and have a chat at 4 in the morning?" Cuilhe said. "The mere fact he was crouching next to the door and hiding shows he was there for nefarious purposes."

Handy's defense lawyer, David Resnick, picked apart the state's case during his closing statement to the jury of four women and eight men.

"I don't think in this case you saw the best of the criminal justice system," Resnick said.

He then began to question why police had not fingerprinted the victim's door, the pepper spray she tried to use on Handy or the kitchen knife she says she used to try to get Handy to leave her alone.

Resnick said he didn't believe the photographs of the victim's apartment showed enough of a struggle took place.

"We are claiming she staged the scene," he said.

Resnick also cast doubt on the testimony of police officers and a sexual assault forensic examination nurse. He claimed there were "glaring inaccuracies" in the timeline of when police officers were called and arrived, and when the victim was examined at the hospital.


Unknown said...

This is an insult to the justice system! How much evidence does one need? I can't believe the jury could be so blind! How can Handy's lawyer sleep at night? Resnick claims the victim staged the scene?
I guess if anyone gets raped they should make sure the scene looks like "enough of a stuggle" took place because God forbid if you just have a knife, overturned furniture, dna evidence at the scene, etc, it just isn't good enough evidence of a struggle!
Handy obvisiouly lied and said he wasn't at the scene of the crime however later when confronted with dna evidence changed his story? Please, give me a break!
Well, I hope everyone feels safe now that justice did not prevail!

Anonymous said...

Lorraine's got a point-why did Handy first say he wasn't at the residence, and then admit it when confronted with dna? Sure does sound strange.