UPDATE: No MURDER charges in racial case

UPDATE: No MURDER charges in racial case

This is a discussion on UPDATE: No MURDER charges in racial case within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; No murder charge in racially fueled road rage incident -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com No murder charge in racially fueled road rage incident By Paula McMahon ...

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Thread: UPDATE: No MURDER charges in racial case

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array ibez's Avatar
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    Post UPDATE: No MURDER charges in racial case

    No murder charge in racially fueled road rage incident -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

    No murder charge in racially fueled road rage incident

    By Paula McMahon | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    January 17, 2008

    No murder charges will be filed in a racially motivated road rage incident last month that left one of the aggressors dead at the hands of the victim, Broward prosecutors said Wednesday.

    Broward Sheriff's detectives initially arrested Steven Lonzisero, 43, of Cooper City, on a charge of felony murder. He is one of two white men who investigators say confronted a black driver on Dec. 13 in Deerfield Beach, shouting racial slurs and trying to drag him from his vehicle.

    Hygens Labidou, 49, of Wellington, pulled a gun and shot his two attackers, police said. Lonzisero survived, but his accomplice, Edward Borowsky, 28, of Cooper City, died four days later.

    Investigators determined that Labidou, who has a concealed weapons permit, acted in self-defense and faces no legal jeopardy. They arrested Lonzisero for felony murder under a state law that says partners-in-crime can face murder charges if a death occurs while they are committing certain felonies — even if they didn't fire the fatal shot.

    But Broward homicide prosecutors said Wednesday that the circumstances surrounding the death do not meet the legal requirements for a murder case. Instead, they said Lonzisero will be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, he could face about 15 years in prison.

    "The facts don't support a homicide charge against Lonzisero," said homicide prosecutor Deborah Zimet, who made the decision. "The circumstances in this particular case are just not covered by our homicide laws."

    To file a felony murder charge, prosecutors would have to be able to prove either that Labidou, the road rage victim, was committing one of several felonies specified in state law or that Lonzisero was committing one of several other felonies specified in a different state law. Zimet said Labidou's actions were legally justified and prosecutors could not meet the legal requirements of either statute.

    The afternoon incident started when Lonzisero and Borowsky objected to Labidou's driving and they blocked in his truck near Powerline and Green roads. The two men banged on Labidou's truck and shouted "N-----, get out of the truck," according to police reports. Borowsky wielded a knife and Lonzisero kicked the truck door aggressively and ordered Labidou out, witnesses told detectives.

    Prosecutors will file the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge against Lonzisero in the next few days. Lonzisero, who was on federal probation, is being held without bond at the Broward County Jail. Because of his arrest, federal prosecutors have accused him of violating his federal probation.

    In June 2005, Lonzisero was sentenced to time served, one year of house arrest and two years of federal probation for possessing and affecting commerce in firearms.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Good enough result for the victim (perfect would have been him not being accosted int he first place).
    Excellent assessment by the prosecutors and result of findings.

    If only more prosecutors would tackle cases like this this way.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    I don't understand. Why isn't Lonzisero being charged with murder? The story aptly explains that a person during the comission of a felony where a murder occurs can be charged with that murder. Assault with a deadly weapon is still a felony, right? Possesion of deadly weapon while on probation is still a felony, right? I'm pretty sure assault while on probabtion is still a felony, right?
    Yes, Labidou's actions were legally justified, but that shouldn't have anything to do with this case. Lonzisero was commiting a felony when Borowsky was killed. What am I missing here?
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.


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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array OPFOR's Avatar
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    While I want the other attacker to face murder charges, I understand that they aren't legally warranted in this case. It looks the guy is going to the stripey hole for a while, anyway, based on his charges from this incident and his violation of federal probation...

    ETA: Berney, it's not just ANY felony, it has to be one of the listed ones (don't know all of 'em, but apparently this didn't meet the criterion). I would think that AWADW would be a predicate, but what the heck do I know...

    I REALLY don't know what the victim's actions have to do with the price of tea in China - that would be interesting to find out more about. On the face of it, I can't see how it matters in the least what the victim is doing when two people unlawfully attack him and one of them dies.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    Acceptable out come. Though I am against "Hate Crime" enhancements (are there love crime reductions?) it does seem the prosecution could have at least went for that enhancement. In WA any death that happens as a result of a felony is Capitol Murder. Not long ago a news reporter following a felony chase died in a helicopter crash I think. There was talk of charging the guy being chased with Capitol Murder due to the reporters death. Not sure what happened with that case.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    Not long ago a news reporter following a felony chase died in a helicopter crash I think. There was talk of charging the guy being chased with Capitol Murder due to the reporters death. Not sure what happened with that case.
    OK, now I am all for stacking charges or adding upgrades to a blatant criminal, but this one boggles the mind. There are some prosecutors that really do dig a little too deep. Especially when the "counts" are higher than the victim count. I.E. 8 counts of felony assault because the BG hit the victim 8 times.

    I am on the fence with the upgrade for racial motivated or hate crime upgrades, they can get a bit hazy.

    This particular thread...now that I have thought about it, with the info that I have, I am inclined to agree with the outcome. Had the dead BG killed or injured someone in this incident, yeah, the surviving BG should get the charge since he was still involved. It is when one of the suspects in in custody while the crime continues (police chase for instance) that suspects involvement in it ends.

    There was a case here in Denver where an officer was killed (I think - at least injured) and the girlfriend of the suspect who was involved with the original crime, had been in Police custody for like a half hour or so, in the back of a cruiser (she bailed out and surrendered) when the officer was killed. She got murder charges added along with several others as the chase continued, and was convicted.

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Super Trucker's Avatar
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    Moral of the story, guy gets attacked, defends himself/no charges filed.
    Douchebag attacker #1 going to jail, #2 dead I see no problem.
    If he is charged with any charge he will only go to the jail for a few years, so why worry about why he is going, just be glad he IS going.

  9. #8
    Member Array biker09's Avatar
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    Good point super trucker. They are off the streets.

  10. #9
    Member Array riverkeeper's Avatar
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    It seems that one of those felonies under which an crime partner could be charged should be assault with a deadly weapon (the knife).
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