Four young women from Newark, New Jersey, were convicted of gang assault on Wednesday in the beating and stabbing of an independent filmmaker in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, last summer.
The jury rejected their contention that they were defending themselves against an anti-lesbian attack.
One of the women, Patreese Johnson, 19, was acquitted of attempted murder, the most serious charge in the case. Prosecutors said she had stabbed the filmmaker, Dwayne Buckle, in the abdomen with a steak knife that she carried in her purse. Johnson contended that she had only tried to cut Buckle's arm to keep him from choking two of her friends.
Along with gang assault, the jury found Johnson, who is 1.5m and weighs less than 45kg, guilty of first-degree assault, which carries a penalty of five to 25 years in prison.
The young women sobbed and wailed "No-oo!" "Mommy!" and "I didn't do it!" as Justice Edward McLaughlin of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ordered them jailed until their sentencing next month.
Johnson, who worked as a night cashier at Wal-Mart, turned and mouthed "I love you" to a sister, brother and cousin in the spectator seats.
The trial attracted attention because both sides framed the case as a hate crime involving lesbians and a straight man. The other three defendants, Renata Hill, 25; Terrain Dandridge, 20; and Venice Brown, 19, were convicted of second-degree gang assault and face three-and-a-half to 15 years in prison.
Buckle, 29, of Queens said he was sitting on a fire hydrant and handing out DVDs of one of his films outside the Independent Film Center at Avenue of the Americas and West Third Street just before 2am on Aug. 18 when the women walked by him and he made a flirtatious remark.
He testified that they then attacked him without any physical provocation on his part.
The women contended that Buckle made crude sexual advances, and when they told him they were not interested because they were lesbians, he spat at them, threw a cigarette and tried to choke two of them.
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of