Hirsh found guilty of assault and battery
- Trooper not guilty of witness intimidation
Here is the link to the story filed Dec. 22, 2015:
The attorney for Darrin Hirsh has requested either a judgment of acquittal or a new trial for the former Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper who was found guilty of aggravated assault, criminal threat and domestic battery last year by a Barton County jury.
Hirsh’s sentencing was originally scheduled for Monday but is now set for May 9. But before that, District Judge Ron Svaty will rule on attorney Sal Intagliata’s motions, filed Feb. 12, that he set aside the verdict. The motions hearing will be at 9 a.m. on April 11.
During the trial that concluded Dec. 22, 2015, Candice Hirsh, the defendant’s ex-wife, testified that in March of 2013 he held a gun to her head, made a threat on her life — “It will all be over soon”— and a threat on the lives of their children —“I will be taking them too.” She also described being choked and left with bruises. Mr. Hirsh was found guilty of those charges and the jury also found that all of the crimes were acts of domestic violence.
Intagliata gives several reasons why his client deserves a new trial “in the interest of justice.”
Jurors were instructed that they should find Hirsh guilty of aggravated assault if the evidence proved he had placed the victim in fear of bodily harm with a deadly weapon – a handgun. However, the state produced evidence that he had used a pillow, placed over her face.
During the deliberations, the jury posed a written question: “May the pillow be considered as a deadly weapon same as the gun?”
The defense argues the elements of the charge were not clarified for the jury.
Next, the defense claims three jurors were not honest during voir dire, the preliminary questioning of potential jurors. All were asked if any had personal experience with domestic violence. One person who answered in the affirmative was not selected to be on the jury for that reason. However, Intagliata said that after the trial one of the alternate jurors disclosed that three other jurors indicated they did have personal experience with domestic violence and relied on that experience during deliberations. The defense cites this as evidence of implicitly biased jurors.
Finally, the defense requests a new trial based on “newly discovered evidence.”
This refers to reports that were mentioned during the trial, but that were not provided to the defense in advance, as required by law.
The motion for acquittal asks the judge to consider conflicting testimony, including that of Ms. Hirsh.
Darrin Hirsh was free on bond until the conclusion of the trial, but after the verdict was read he was placed in custody of the Barton County Jail, where he remained as of Monday afternoon.
This story was updated on March 9 to correct an error in the verdict. At the conclusion of his jury trial last December in Barton County District Court, Darrin Hirsh was found not guilty of two counts of violation of a protective order and two counts of intimidation of a witness, which were alleged to have occurred on March 11 and 12, 2014. One of those counts was dismissed by District Judge Ron Svaty before sending the jury to deliberate, and the jury found him not guilty of the other counts.