Jonathan Curtis admitted the knifing death of his mother after a long night of drug and alcohol abuse. At issue was Jonathan’s status as a juvenile versus an adult (with adult status necessitating a minimum twenty-five year sentence). The Defendant’s expert testimony provided by Dr. Charles Robinson criticized the choice and utilization of tests employed by the State’s psychological expert. Robinson further opined that Jonathan (17 at the time of the offense) more closely resembled a juvenile than an adult in terms of his psychological make-up. Jonathan was tried as a juvenile and was committed to the care of the State's juvenile correctional facility until his21st birthday.
(See also newspaper article "Age is factor for trial")
In a civil action seeking
damages, Plaintiff Fodelmesi alleged that his confession to a double homicide
was coerced. Plaintiff's expert,
Richard Ofshe, Ph.D., offered testimony that the false confession was of a
coerced compliant type. Defendant's
expert Robinson disagreed and challenged the degree of mental retardation
suffered by the Plaintiff. The
Defendant's expert also offered evidence from the crime scene material to the
issues at hand. The jury rejected
all Plaintiffs’ claims of negligence on the part of the New York State
Police, the Duchess County Sheriff's Office, the Town of
Plaintiff was struck on the head by a golf ball. Traditional medical tests did not demonstrate serious or long lasting trauma. The Plaintiff retained Dr. Charles Robinson who examined the Plaintiff and provided information based on his examination and psychological tests demonstrating the extent of the Plaintiff's injuries. A pre-trial settlement of $75,000 was reached.
Eric Mehnert, Esq.
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