Thread: Chuckle for the Day
This is a truth is stranger than fiction episode form this week's Court of Appeals. Man is accused of trying to butter up an officer and claims self-defense:
Terry v. Commonwealth, Va. App. (Unpublished 2008)
"Appealing his conviction for assault upon a law enforcement officer in violation of Code § 18.2-57(C), Wendell Wallace Terry argues the trial court erroneously applied a defense of property standard, rather than a defense of person standard, in considering a claim of self-defense raised in closing argument by his counsel. We conclude that assignment of error need not be addressed. Terry denied committing any offense against the officers and, thus, produced no evidence in support of self-defense. Thus, his assignment of error necessarily fails, and we, accordingly, affirm his conviction.
Roanoke Police Officer C.J. Witt responded to a call of a breaking and entering in progress at Linda Macy’s house on October 10, 2005. Terry had periodically stayed at Macy’s house. Witt entered the home with his gun drawn. Terry was found near a kitchen table, on which was mayonnaise, bologna, and bread. Witt asked Terry to show his hands. Witt testified Terry then “went rapidly” to the sink, “grabbed a knife, a silver knife and raised it over his head and started coming at me.” Witt and two other officers eventually knocked the knife from Terry’s hand, wrestled him to the ground, and handcuffed him. The knife turned out to be a butter knife.
Terry denied making any threatening movements toward the officers. He stated the officers probably did see him grab a knife, but claimed he needed to spread the mayonnaise he had retrieved from a refrigerator. He testified he never committed assault: “And I never went like this. Why would I go like this? They would have shot me. I would have been a dead man then. I wouldn’t be testifying.” He continued: “Why would I go after a butter knife? What? Take a butter knife to a gun --- I’ve got three police officers with guns pointed at me. I’m going to go and get a butter knife. I guess you would do that.” In short, Terry specifically denied he made any threatening gestures whatsoever towards the officers and did nothing to defend himself."