Guard convicted of murder in Va. Beach in bench trial, I smell injustice.

Guard convicted of murder in Va. Beach in bench trial, I smell injustice.

This is a discussion on Guard convicted of murder in Va. Beach in bench trial, I smell injustice. within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Va. Beach club guard convicted in fatal shooting | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com That's when, Belmar ( defendant ) testified, he swiveled around to see Spencer ...

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Thread: Guard convicted of murder in Va. Beach in bench trial, I smell injustice.

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Guard convicted of murder in Va. Beach in bench trial, I smell injustice.

    Va. Beach club guard convicted in fatal shooting | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

    That's when, Belmar (defendant) testified, he swiveled around to see Spencer leveling a shotgun over the hood of a vehicle toward the parkway, over the heads of several of his guards, who were lying on the ground or scurrying to hide behind street lamps and gas pumps.

    Belmar fired twice, with one bullet killing Spencer and going on to wound his friend sitting in the driver's seat.

    Spencer, too, had fired, damaging an uninvolved vehicle and injuring its driver, Bryant (prosecutor) said.
    "After hearing this for the last couple of days, I feel like I've been transported to the O.K. Corral," Shockley (Judge) said in court.
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    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    Hmm, on the surface it appears to be justified. Maybe there's something else going on that we're not privy to.

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    That judge needs to be on the receiving end of a Tueller drill, for starters, just to see how quickly things can go bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by highvoltage View Post
    Hmm, on the surface it appears to be justified. Maybe there's something else going on that we're not privy to.
    Agree with this.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    That judge needs to be on the receiving end of a Tueller drill, for starters, just to see how quickly things can go bad.
    No doubt. Said Judge A. Bonwill Shockley (who one day hopes to be The Bonwill Shockley) "Why didn't the defendant wait?" Wait for what? To actually be shot with the shotgun? On its face this ruling seems crazy.
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    Sounds insane. Man levels shotgun in my direction. Same response. How is this murder?

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    Belmar needs to appeal and get a new lawyer. MHO
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    Based on what's in that article, he got screwed. I'm not happy about being a Virginian at the moment.

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    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2jlking View Post
    Sounds insane. Man levels shotgun in my direction. Same response. How is this murder?
    The shotgun wasn't directed at the defendant, it was aimed across the hood of a car at a parkway. Several club guards were however in the line of the shotgun's fire. That's when the defendant took aim and fired at shotgun's owner, killing him.

    Another point made by the judge was that the club guards were no longer on club property but a nearby 7-Eleven. Not a point for or against anything, just a fact in the case.

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    Hm. All trials have things the folks there are "privy" to, beyond whatever's in the first-run news articles. Perhaps that's what got him.

    Still, the prosecution's claim was that "no one was in immediate enough danger to justify killing Spencer," and the judge agreed, saying that "The victim's actions hadn't gone far enough," she said, before finding Belmar guilty.

    While the defendant's claim was that "dozens were fighting," someone knocked a person unconscious before fleeing and shooting from a car, and that immediately afterward he saw someone leveling a shotgun toward the area where several of his "security guard" colleagues were.

    From that one article's reported claims, it seems the judge didn't buy the idea that shooting first against the shotgun-wielding person was justifiable. Perhaps she'd prefer the shotgun person had first killed somebody, instead. Perhaps it's simply an example of how much harder it can be to claim justifiability if you're found to have been the first person to use lethal force against an assailant. Though, it's strange that impending use of lethal force by an assailant isn't broadly recognized as justifiable.

    Based on those elements, if I were on the jury in this case then I couldn't vote to convict. Unless there were other key factors we're unaware of.
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    on the face of it, it sounds justified... there's a lot of detail missing...

    Someone, aiming a shotgun at other people is a deadly threat... but, just to throw a wrench in things, what if the guy leveling the shotty was a LEO in an unmarked vehicle... trying to break up the fighting that was going on and had progressed off the club property onto 7-11 lot...

    On the other hand, at distance... I don't think the security guard was shooting "willy-nilly" seems he hit the intended target(s).
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post

    Based on those elements, if I were on the jury in this case then I couldn't vote to convict. Unless there were other key factors we're unaware of.
    Sounds like Belmar opted for a bench trial...
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    Any competent lawyer would have taken the case to a jury. Some judges have an agenda.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaGunny View Post
    Any competent lawyer would have taken the case to a jury. Some judges have an agenda.
    I agree, but maybe the judge has a reputation that made the lawyer think it was a smart call. Or maybe the lawyer is an idiot.
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    Unless there is more to this than is being reported, I have a feeling the ruling will be reversed on appeal. VA is a gun friendly state, outside of the NoVA and Hampton area's.
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