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Monday, June 2, 2008

[PA] Officer McCarthy's wife: "I thought he was going to kill me"

...McCarthy, the woman testified, reminded her he was a police officer and that he could kill her. “I thought he was going to kill me..."

Tredyffrin policeman tried for allegedly assaulting wife

The Phoenix, phoenixvillenews.com
By Carl Hessler Jr., Special to
May 27, 2008
NORRISTOWN — The wife of a Chester County police officer testified she believed he was going to kill her when he “body-slammed” her into a tub and injured her during an argument inside their Lower Pottsgrove home. The 38-year-old woman told a Montgomery County jury that Tredyffrin Township Police Officer Michael J. McCarthy grabbed her by the neck, shoved her facedown into a large soaking tub and pressed her sternum against a faucet, causing her to gasp for breath during the June 2007 altercation. McCarthy, the woman testified, reminded her he was a police officer and that he could kill her. “I thought he was going to kill me. I was petrified. I truly thought that he was going to kill me because of his training, because of his strength,” the woman testified through tears Tuesday as McCarthy’s assault trial got under way before President Judge Richard J. Hodgson. “He body-slammed me onto the water knob and the faucet. He just kept pressing harder and harder on my sternum until I couldn’t catch my breath, until I went limp. I had no fight in me,” the 5-foot 2-inch tall, 100 pound woman claimed. “I just couldn’t get a breath. I felt like I had just gotten hit by an elephant.” Lower Pottsgrove police alleged [?] the woman sought hospital treatment for a bruise that was three-inches wide and ran from the base of the woman’s neck to her stomach area. McCarthy, 37, who, according to testimony, stands 6-feet 2-inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, had no injuries and he was taken into custody at 3:45 a.m. June 26 for alleged domestic violence... McCarthy, who has been placed on administrative leave by the police department, is charged with simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct in connection with the alleged assault. If convicted of all the charges, McCarthy faces a possible maximum sentence of two to four years in prison. However, defense lawyer Sean E. Cullen implied the woman could not have sustained the injuries at the hands of McCarthy. According to Cullen, McCarthy had a pre-existing neck injury and was not capable of the motions described by the woman. Cullen implied the woman slipped and fell into the tub during an argument with her husband, with whom she is now estranged. Cullen implied the woman “exaggerated” the incident... As conditions of bail McCarthy is prohibited from having any contact with his wife and he had to turn all his firearms over to Lower Pottsgrove police until the matter has been resolved. [Full article here]

Jury acquits Tredyffrin officer of beating wife
The Phoenix, phoenixvillenews.com
By Carl Hessler Jr.
May 28, 2008
NORRISTOWN — A Chester County police officer was acquitted Wednesday of charges he assaulted his wife during an argument inside their Lower Pottsgrove home. The Montgomery County jury deliberated about three hours before acquitting Tredyffrin Police Officer Michael J. McCarthy of two counts of simple assault in connection with the June 2007 incident. However, with a split verdict, the jury of 10 men and two women convicted McCarthy of a lesser misdemeanor charge of harassment... During his testimony on Wednesday, McCarthy adamantly denied accusations he assaulted and injured his wife... [Full article here]

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1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 16, 2008

    Cop found guilty of harassment of wife
    JURY CONVICTS LOWER POTTSGROVE MAN OF LESSER, MISDEMEANOR CHARGE INSTEAD OF ASSAULT; HE FACES UP TO ONE YEAR IN PRISON
    Daily Local News
    By CARL HESSLER Jr
    May 29, 2008

    NORRISTOWN — A Chester County police officer was acquitted Wednesday of charges he assaulted his wife during an argument inside their Lower Pottsgrove home.

    The Montgomery County jury deliberated about three hours before acquitting Tredyffrin Police Officer Michael J. McCarthy of two counts of simple assault in connection with the June 2007 incident.

    But, with a split verdict, the jury of 10 men and two women convicted McCarthy of a lesser misdemeanor charge of harassment.

    President Judge Richard J. Hodgson said he will impose McCarthy’s punishment within 30 days. McCarthy faces a sentence that ranges between probation and up to one year in jail.

    AdvertisementMcCarthy, 37, and his 38-year-old estranged wife remained calm and showed no emotion in the courtroom as the verdict was announced. McCarthy, who previously was placed on administrative leave by the police department, remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail pending his sentencing hearing.

    During his testimony on Wednesday, McCarthy adamantly denied accusations he assaulted and injured his wife.

    A 10-year veteran of the Tredyffrin Police Department, McCarthy claimed his wife sustained an abrasion to her chest after she accidentally fell into a soaking tub as the two argued in the bathroom of their home during the early morning hours of June 26, 2007. McCarthy testified his wife’s fall occurred after she slapped him in the neck and he lifted his leg in an attempt to ward off her attempt to grab his crotch area as she stood behind him in the bathroom. McCarthy claimed his wife’s emotions were “out of control” as the couple argued about their marital relationship.

    “After that, I heard a crash, like a loud bang,” McCarthy told the jury. “I turned around and saw (her) half in the tub and half out of the tub.”

    McCarthy admitted he didn’t render aid to the woman and left the bathroom after the encounter, claiming his wife didn’t appear to be in any medical distress.

    McCarthy’s testimony was significantly different from that of his wife, who testified for the jury on Tuesday.

    The 5-foot-2-inch-tall woman, who weighs 100 pounds, claimed McCarthy, who stands 6-feet 2-inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, grabbed her by the neck and “body-slammed” her facedown into the tub and then pressed her sternum against a faucet, causing her to gasp for breath. McCarthy, the woman testified, reminded her he was a police officer and that he could kill her.

    Lower Pottsgrove police alleged the woman suffered an abrasion that was 3 inches wide and ran from the base of the woman’s neck to her stomach area.

    McCarthy had no injuries and he was taken into custody at 3:45 a.m. June 26 for alleged domestic violence.

    “Unfortunately, the defendant thought he was above the law because he was a police officer,” Assistant District Attorney Wallis Brooks, who leads the district attorney’s domestic violence unit, argued to the jury. “He committed a crime. He’s a criminal. Shame on him.”

    But, defense lawyer Sean E. Cullen implied the woman could not have sustained the injuries at the hands of McCarthy. According to Cullen, McCarthy had a pre-existing neck injury that he sustained while on police duty and was not capable of the motions described by the woman.

    “She slips and she falls, and that’s how she got hurt,” said Cullen, who characterized McCarthy as a mild-mannered man who avoided confrontations.

    Cullen also implied the woman made conflicting statements regarding the incident during previous interviews and court hearings.

    “It’s an escalation of a story,” argued Cullen, who warned jurors not to be carried away by emotions. “Take the emotion out of the case. The facts don’t line up.”

    Dr. Ian Hood, a forensic pathologist who reviewed photos of the woman’s injury for the defense, testified if the injury occurred with an amount of force as the woman claimed, he would have expected to see more serious injuries on the woman. But, Hood said he couldn’t opine if the abrasion suffered by the woman was the result of a push or a fall into the tub.

    Testimony revealed it was the first time Hood, a medical examiner who routinely testifies for prosecutors in murder cases, has ever testified on behalf of the defense in an alleged domestic violence case.

    Brooks praised Lower Pottsgrove police for initiating the investigation after a nurse at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center notified them McCarthy’s wife showed up at the hospital for treatment.

    Court records show McCarthy’s wife did obtain a temporary protection from abuse order against McCarthy after the alleged assault. Under an order signed by county Judge Thomas C. Branca on June 26, McCarthy was evicted from the couple’s Lower Pottsgrove home and ordered to relinquish any weapons he owned, pending a final order of a judge regarding the protection order.

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