News:

Here as a guest? Welcome! If you found a topic or discussion you like, we hope you'll register. Besides getting privileges to reply and start your own topics, you'll receive access to expanded content and entire boards unavailable to the general public. Sign up now! It's simple and fast.

Main Menu

News Item: Man Beats Wife and Blames Ghost

Started by PPI Debra, January 23, 2012, 04:49:42 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

PPI Debra

Obviously, the man in this story is a cruel, immature, wacko.

However, I am interested in how the paranormal will be accommodated within the legal system.
Any thoughts?

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/23/10216282-alleged-abuser-claimed-ghost-attacked-his-wife

Alleged abuser claimed 'ghost' attacked his wife
By msnbc.com staff

A Wisconsin man charged with domestic abuse told police that a "ghost" had attacked his wife and was responsible for her injuries, according to a police report discovered by The Smoking Gun.

Michael West, 41, was arrested for battery, strangulation, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

Police found West's wife Rebecca crying and bleeding when they responded to a report of a domestic dispute on Jan. 15, at the West residence in Fond du Lac, Wis. Drops of blood stained her jersey and areas of the kitchen, according to the police report.

The woman told police her husband punched her repeatedly in the face and attempted to strangle her "to the point that [her] vision went black and [she] felt like she was going to pass out," the report said.

Police said West appeared intoxicated and was yelling and swearing at the two officers questioning him. The man claimed his wife had fallen several times, injuring her face and neck.

When asked specifically about the marks on the woman?s neck, West said, in slurred speech, "A ghost did it."

West resisted arrest, but was eventually handcuffed and taken into custody. His wife told police the fight was started over the impending foreclosure on their home.

West remains in police custody pending a preliminary hearing on Jan. 27, police told msnbc.com. The $1,000 cash bond set by the judge has not been paid.

"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

PPI Tracy

I read this.  As far as the guy getting out of this one without jail time......I don't think he stands a ghost of a chance.

(that was a knee slapper, eh)

Seriously.....this guy is going down.  I cannot believe that someone would basically try to murder their spouse and then blame it on a ghost.  The guy IS a wacko.

adminsandiegohaunted

Our legal system allows for some pretty "insane" defenses with regards to criminal trials. Mostly due to the fact, a defense strategy needs only to evoke a reasonable doubt in one of 12 persons (based on court room instructions) to result in a deadlock, or mistrial. In many cases prosecuting attorneys in minor criminal cases will not re-try, a mistrial.

"Twinkie defense" is a derisive label for an improbable legal defense. It is not a recognized legal defense in jurisprudence, but a catchall term coined by reporters during their coverage of the trial of defendant Dan White for the murders of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone. White's defense was that he suffered diminished capacity as a result of his depression. His change in diet from health food to Twinkies and other sugary food was said to be a symptom of depression. Contrary to common belief, White's attorneys did not argue that the Twinkies were the cause of White's actions. Rather they argued that his consumption of Twinkies was symptomatic of his underlying depression. White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. [1]

"If the glove doesn't fit you must acquit" O.J. Simpson Murder Trial; If it doesnt fit, you must acquit, became Cochrans mantra as he tried to convince jurors that the case laid out by prosecutors is inconsistent and full of holes.Cochran colorfully illustrated his theme by donning a black knit cap similar to the one prosecutors claim Simpson wore as a disguise the night of the murders.If I put this knit cap on, who am I he asked. Im still Johnnie Cochran in a knit cap ... and O.J. Simpson in a knit cap from two blocks away is still O.J. Simpson. Its no disguise. It makes no sense. If it doesnt fit. If it doesnt fit, you must acquit. Cochran later pulled on a pair of gloves similar to those the prosecution used to try to link Simpson to the murder scene. The act was a reminder to the jurors of the apparent difficulty Simpson had in getting the gloves to fit during a courtroom demonstration. [2]

Defenses in Civil courts tend to be less "colorful" as only a majority consensus usually (6 out of 8 ) is required to be entitled to awards. In civil courts usually it is the plaintiffs, that litigate more elaborate claims.  One of the more disturbing ones I can recall from my life time.

The San Ysidro "McDonald's  day Massacre" in the aftermath that followed:
In 1986, Etna Huberty, James's widow, unsuccessfully sued McDonald's and Babcock and Wilcox, his longtime former employer, in an Ohio state court for $5 million, claiming that the massacre was triggered by the combined mixture of eating too many of their chicken nuggets and working around highly poisonous metals. She alleged that monosodium glutamate in the food, combined with the high levels of lead and cadmium in his body, induced delusions and uncontrollable rage. An autopsy did reveal high levels of the metals,[5] most likely built up from fumes inhaled during 14 years of welding. Autopsy results also revealed there were no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the killings. Etna Huberty died in 2003 [3]

And with regards to the paranormal, the legal precedent setting case, that has led to many disclosure laws.

Nyack New York (Stambovsky v Ackley, 1991) where the seller was sued by the buyer for misrepresentation, when the buyer learned that the house was thought of as haunted by the local community. The seller of the house lost the case, mainly because they had written to local newspapers and Readers Digest claiming the house was haunted, and thus were omitting a fact to the seller that they had previously gone to great lengths to publicize.
Property disclosure laws differ from state to state, so you'd need to check with a lawyer in your state if you think you have a case against your seller.[4]

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinkie_defense
[2]http://articles.cnn.com/1995-09-28/us/OJ_daily_9-27_8pm_1_cap-from-two-blocks-robert-heidstra-johnnie-cochran?_s=PM:US
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Ysidro_McDonald's_massacre
[4]http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_house_sellers_tell_you_if_a_house_is_haunted#ixzz1kKJo524U

PPI Brian

Abusive relationships are always heartbreaking. This guy was obviously intoxicated and the case never should have received this much publicity. Must have been a slow news day.  :)

You bring up some good points, Dan. There are states that require sellers to disclose alleged paranormal activity when they sell their homes. I wonder what the criteria is for declaring a place "haunted"? The law does require that sellers inform potential buyers of deaths on the property, provided the death occurred within 5 years of the sale.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

PPI Tracy

Dan - "Twinkie Defense" was the first thing I thought of when I read this.   ::|

PPI Tracy

Quote from: PPI Brian on January 23, 2012, 07:49:48 PM
There are states that require sellers to disclose alleged paranormal activity when they sell their homes. I wonder what the criteria is for declaring a place "haunted"? The law does require that sellers inform potential buyers of deaths on the property, provided the death occurred within 5 years of the sale.

Too bad California isn't one of them.  Is it?   :-\

PPI Debra

Quote from: PPI Tracy on January 24, 2012, 03:59:39 PM
Quote from: PPI Brian on January 23, 2012, 07:49:48 PM
There are states that require sellers to disclose alleged paranormal activity when they sell their homes. I wonder what the criteria is for declaring a place "haunted"? The law does require that sellers inform potential buyers of deaths on the property, provided the death occurred within 5 years of the sale.

Too bad California isn't one of them.  Is it?   :-\

I know they have to report recent deaths, but I'm not sure what the time frame is.
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

PPI Brian

#7
Quote from: PPI Tracy on January 24, 2012, 03:59:39 PM
Quote from: PPI Brian on January 23, 2012, 07:49:48 PM
There are states that require sellers to disclose alleged paranormal activity when they sell their homes. I wonder what the criteria is for declaring a place "haunted"? The law does require that sellers inform potential buyers of deaths on the property, provided the death occurred within 5 years of the sale.

Too bad California isn't one of them.  Is it?   :-\

California real estate law requires a seller to inform potential buyers if there's been a death on the property within 3 years. However, the seller and the seller's agent do not have to disclose the "manner" of the death.

D.  No Disclosure Required for Manner/Occurrence of Death; Affliction of Occupant with Aids

No cause of action arises against an owner or the owner's broker/agent (or any cooperating broker/agent) when selling, leasing, or renting real property for failing to disclose to the buyer, lessee, or renter the following:

    * the manner or occurrence of an occupant's death upon the real property if the death occurred more than 3 years prior to the transferee?s offer to purchase, lease, or rent the property; or

    * that an occupant of the property was afflicted with, or died from, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

This controlling statute does not change the law relating to disclosure of any other physical or mental condition or disease of an occupant or the physical condition of the property. If the buyer asks a direct question concerning deaths occurring on the real property, this statute will not protect the owner or broker(s)/agent(s) from misrepresentations.

(Cal. Civ. S 1710.2)
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan