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Case: Ny V Bernhard Goetz (Assault And Murder)

966 words - 4 pages

In the case of NY v Bernhard Goetz, on December 22, 1984, a Saturday afternoon, Troy Canty, Darryl Cabey, Barry Allen, and James Ramseur boarded an IRT express subway train in the Bronx heading south toward lower Manhattan. The four young men rode together in the back section of seventh car of the train. The defendant Bernhard Goetz boarded the same subway train at 14th street in Manhattan and sat on a bench near the back section of the same car of the train as the four youths. Goetz carried an unlicensed .38 caliber pistol in his possession which was loaded with five rounds of ammunition in a waistband holster (Lender). Leaving 14th street station, the train headed towards Chambers Street. Allegedly the defendant was approached by two of the youths, presumably Canty and Allen. One of the two youths that approached Goetz, Canty, demanded, “Give me five dollars”. Goetz responded by getting up and pulling out his .38 unlicensed caliber pistol. He fired four shots striking each of the four youths and shot one of the youths, Cabey, again. The bullet severed Cabey’s spinal cord leaving him paralyzed. The rest of the youths that were struck with a bullet fully recovered from the attack.
According to the defendant he was aware that the youths did not possess any firearms or guns but was afraid based on his experience of being “maimed”. The conductor of the train , after hearing shots fired , instructed the motorman to call for emergency assistance. When the conductor went into the seventh car of the train, where the shooting took place, he saw the Goetz sitting on one of the benches while the four youths were injured lying on the floor or slumped against a seat. The defendant claimed to the conductor that the four youths were trying to rob him. Goetz fled from the scene while the conductor attended to the victims. Shortly after, the police and ambulance arrived to the scene. All the youths later recovered fully but Cabey was left paralyzed with some degree of brain damage.
Goetz surrendered himself on December 31, 1984 to police in Concord , New Hampshire. He later identified himself as the gunman responsible for the subway shootings in New York more than a week earlier. Later after surrendering himself to police and receiving the Miranda warnings, he made two statements to police. With his permission both were tape recorded. In the statements he made to police he admitted he was carrying an illegal handgun for the past 3 years in New York City. He also stated after he was injured from being mugged in the past he purchased the handgun in 1981. He admitted that he successfully, in between the past three years of possessing the weapon, protected himself against assailants just by displaying the pistol. Goetz also in his statement to police meticulously explained how he shot...

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