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“Words alone” are no reason to kill, Man gets 10 years for punching woman over N-word

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by TidWell, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. TidWell

    TidWell Gold Belt

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    Very sad stuff, learn to control your temper, resorting to violence over stupid things like this is not worth it, think rationally of the consequences. I never understood people like this who get violent over a word or someone cutting them off in line. I seen road rage stuff happen over little things and people start taking weapons out.

    ..........................................................................................................................................................
    The verbal exchange lasted only 45 seconds. Robert Coleman threw one punch.

    Fedelia Montiel-Benitez died in a hospital 10 days later, and Coleman will now most likely go to prison for 10 years for second-degree murder.

    He was found guilty at trial in Alexandria Circuit Court on Monday after arguing unsuccessfully that while he did punch Montiel-Benitez in a 7-Eleven last July, he had no intention of killing her.

    Coleman, 27, told detectives Montiel-Benitez called him the n-word, and he snapped. Prosecutors claimed the 39-year-old woman did not speak enough English to use such a slur — and that even if she had, it did not justify Coleman’s response.

    “Words alone” are no reason to kill, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney David Lord said in closing arguments.

    “We of course remain disappointed that they didn't see it as manslaughter,” Coleman’s attorney, Robert Jenkins, said after the jury returned. He said Coleman and his family were “grateful” for the jury’s recommended sentence, given that second-degree murder can carry a punishment of up to 40 years. It reflected, Jenkins said, “that this was not something that he wanted to happen, that he did not intend to take someone’s life.”

    [​IMG]
    Robert Coleman, 27, was found guilty of second-degree murder Monday in Alexandria Circuit Court. (Alexandria Detention Center)

    A judge will formally sentence Coleman on May 24, but deviations from jury recommendations are rare. He is being held at the Alexandria Detention Center.

    “In an all-too-often repeated theme, a tragedy unfolded because of a defendant’s inability to tolerate a perceived slight,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter said in a statement. “Verbal arguments should never devolve into physical altercations because physical altercations often bring devastating consequences.”

    [Woman assaulted outside a convenience store in Alexandria dies]

    Coleman and Montiel-Benitez were strangers. Coleman was buying cigarettes. Montiel-Benitez was buying alcohol at the convenience store near the Mark Center on Seminary Road.

    The source of the animosity between them remains a mystery. Surveillance video shows they engaged in a brief conversation, but there is no audio. Coleman’s girlfriend, Nikki Howard, testified she could not hear the entire conversation but broke the two up. In the video, Montiel-Benitez is seen walking to the door and then turning.


    Coleman says that is when she called him the n-word; Howard remembered her cursing. In the video Coleman can be seen chasing Montiel-Benitez outside.


    Through the leaves of a tree, another camera captures the punch that put Montiel-Benitez in a coma from which she did not recover.


    Coleman fled the scene and was picked up the next day when a detective recognized him in the surveillance video. He at first denied involvement in what he thought was simply an assault. When he was told Montiel-Benitez was in critical condition, he admitted hitting her, but said he had not meant to cause serious harm.

    “She deserves to be treated with more humanity,” he told the jury.

    He said Coleman was “a bully who was looking for a fight” and picked on Montiel-Benitez, who was just trying to get away.

    Jenkins told jurors Montiel-Benitez’s .351 blood alcohol level and size might help explain why Coleman believed “this was going to be mutual combat, and he struck first.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...5eac230e514_story.html?utm_term=.652d3dde0cf9
     
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  2. Neph

    Neph Purple Belt

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    BAC .351 is insane.

    BAC .02
    Drinkers begin to feel moderate effects.
    BAC .04
    Most people begin to feel relaxed, mildly euphoric, sociable, and talkative.
    BAC .05
    Judgment, attention, and control are somewhat impaired. Ability to drive safely begins to be limited. Sensory-motor and finer performance are impaired. People are less able to make rational decisions about their capabilities (for example, about driving.)
    BAC .08
    This is legal level for intoxication in some states. There is a definite impairment of muscle coordination and driving skills.
    BAC .10
    This is legally drunk in most states. There is a clear deterioration of reaction time and control.
    BAC .12-.15
    Vomiting usually occurs, unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance to alcohol. Drinkers are drowsy.
    Drinkers display emotional instability, loss of critical judgment, impairment of perception, memory, and comprehension.
    Lack of sensor-motor coordination and impaired balance are typical. Decreased sensory responses and increased reaction times develop. The vision is significantly impaired, including limited ability to see detail, peripheral vision, and slower glare recovery.
    BAC .15
    This blood-alcohol level means the equivalent of 1/2 pint of whiskey is circulating in the blood stream.
    BAC .18-.25
    Drinkers are disoriented, confused, dizzy, and have exaggerated emotional states. Vision is disturbed, as is perception of color, form, motion, and dimensions.
    Drinkers have increased pain threshold and lack of muscular coordination. Drinkers stagger or lose the ability to walk and have slurred speech. Apathy and lethargy are typical.
    BAC .25-.30
    Drinkers display general inertia, near total loss of motor functions, little response to stimuli, inability to stand or walk, vomiting, and incontinence. Drinkers may lose consciousness or fall into a stupor.
    BAC .30-.50
    Symptoms are complete unconsciousness, depressed or absent reflexes, subnormal body temperature, incontinence, and impairment of circulation and respiration.

    Death may occur at .37% or higher. BACs of .45% and higher are fatal to nearly all individuals.
     
  3. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Brown Belt

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    10 years seems a little light.
     
  4. TidWell

    TidWell Gold Belt

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    He was lucky to get 10, I think he might get even less he seems to have a good defense lawyer, he said his intention wasn't to kill her and that reacted emotionally in a fit of rage over a word that triggered him.
     
  5. Metusalemi

    Metusalemi Black Belt

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    Weren't we suppose to punch nazis?
     
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  6. TidWell

    TidWell Gold Belt

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    yeah I'm surprised maybe its a typo in the article? but apparently she was a big woman, never saw the surveillance footage.
     
  7. Fedorable

    Fedorable Continues without supporting Sherdog.

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    people call me the "N" word all the time. No big deal.
     
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  8. spin

    spin Gold Belt

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    I'm actually for mutual combat in certain situations.


    This not being one of them.


    We all have those situations where an instant Choice can instantly change your life.


    It's a tragedy for those that make the wrong choice at the wrong time
     
  9. ShinkanPo

    ShinkanPo I am done with Love I don't believe it.

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    Crazy He should get the death penalty.
     
  10. Culombo

    Culombo Brown Belt

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    I was gonna say people like that need to be 'thrown away' .. how can someone like that be around other people in a civilized society ? .. this won't be the last time this happens .. imagine the next guy who tells him something he doesn't like .. he's gonna swing at him .. but on the other hand he was piss ass, blind drunk so his mind was out of it .. either way he did what he did and needs to do hard time
     
  11. Trotsky

    Trotsky Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Wait....seriously?

    He threw one punch after being called a word meant to dehumanize him. A word that he had undoubtedly heard countless times in his life to dismiss him as subhuman trash.

    Tragic all around, but 10 years for throwing one punch that would not conceivably have been predicted as killing a person....that sounds about right.
     
  12. Neph

    Neph Purple Belt

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    Just to put a spin on things the guy blew 0.351 so who knows what his assessment of the situation and recollection was. The prosecution explained that the victim had such little English they probably couldn't've even used that word.

    I disagree that throwing one punch could 'not conceivably be predicted as killing a person'. It sadly happens all the time and the guy is kind of enormous too.

    I agree that the death penalty is an over-the-top suggestion however I don't know if the mitigating circumstances quoted are really an accurate reflection of what happened.

    I'd be interested to know if there is a criminal history for the offender. What is the real objective of incarceration and what maximises the benefits to society?

    EDIT: Trotsky has correctly pointed out that the victims BAC was 0.351.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  13. Trotsky

    Trotsky Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Didn't it say that the victim's BAC was .357?

    Either way, that's an incredible amount.
     
  14. IloveTHIS

    IloveTHIS Gold Belt

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    Lol look at that guy. I'm sorry but he doesn't exactly look like a guy that makes great decisions.

    It's a horrible word but black teenagers playing on Xbox hear it 100 times a day and they don't snap and hurt anyone.

    Sucks she died, for the victim and him, but 10 years is really really fair for this. Getting off easy.
     
  15. covenant

    covenant Black Belt

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    bullshit.

    can you not see the size of this man. id wager no one for a long time (if at all) has called him the n word.
     
  16. ShinkanPo

    ShinkanPo I am done with Love I don't believe it.

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    His action still resulted in a big death the woman is stupid probably an equal idiot.

    Him getting called whatever racial slur in his life has nothing to do with the crimes in this case. Its not like he is drunk driving here were he can say its an accident.
     
  17. Neph

    Neph Purple Belt

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    It says .351 which regardless is a ludicrous amount. It's amazing he could even walk around at that stage hence why I question whether there was a racial slur or not. There could have been but at that degree of intoxication who really knows - I don't buy it as a mitigating factor.

    If the guy has a completely clean criminal history I think 10 years is about right as a gut feeling, but there are no winners here. He would have ruined his life in a single extremely intoxicated moment while she has lost her life in a callous attack.

    If he has a violent criminal record then you can just start going up and up on that period of incarceration. Not sure what you can do to try and rehabilitate the offender.

    EDIT: Trotsky has correctly pointed out that the victims BAC was 0.351.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  18. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Titanium Belt Platinum Member

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    1. Being drunk is not a mitigating circumstance imo. You chose drunkenness.
    2. When I was a child I was taught "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". Today, people are taught that words are violence, thus justifying violent reactions to words.
    3. 10 years seems about right to me.
    4. The victim did not deserve to die, but if she did indeed call a large, drunk black man a :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek: then she behaved very unwisely.
     
  19. Trotsky

    Trotsky Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    You're reading the story wrong. I reviewed to make sure: it was the woman who had the .351 BAC, not him.

    Apparently the defense went after her being drunk and a large woman, and that's how it became a notable fact.

    If that's your conclusion, then I'd wager you do not have much experience with this topic. Big black guys get called it plenty often, even if marginally less than smaller black men.
     
  20. Neph

    Neph Purple Belt

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    My apologies you are quite correct.
     

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