Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
Established 1891
news | sports | obituaries | archives | classifieds | subscribe | links | contact | tv listings | lottery



"The Wild Gardener"
Peter Loewer's Weekly
Column in the Democrat

"The Mouth That Roars"
Bill Liblick's Weekly
Column in the Democrat

"Inside Out"
Jeanne Sager's Weekly
Column in the Democrat

"Give Us Paws"
Ruth Huggler's Weekly
Column in the Democrat

John Conway's Look Back at the History of Sullivan County

Sullivan Renaissance

Sullivan County Chamber
Of Commerce & Industry

Sullivan County
Visitor's Association

Sullivan County
Government Center

Sullivan County
Partnership for
Economic Development

Please visit our
Community Links
section for other
Sullivan County

PLEASE NOTE: If you bookmark a particular link from the current news, sports or obituaries offered on our Website, be aware that the URL address will change once it is archived. Bookmarking an archived link is therefore the surest way to retain access to a particular article.


Judge LaBuda rebuked over mistrial decision

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — A hunter who was awaiting retrial for the shooting of another hunter won’t ever have to face those charges for that incident again.
Last week, a state appeals court tossed not only the retrial but the indictment itself, charging that County Court Judge Frank LaBuda improperly ruled the first trial a mistrial and that retrying the case would violate the state and federal prohibition against “double jeopardy” (being tried for the same crime or crimes twice).
Thus Robert Robar, a Long Island hunter, won’t again face trial on second-degree assault and reckless endangerment charges in the shooting of Terry Pelton, who wandered onto Robar’s hunting group’s property in November 2009 in the Town of Lumberland – and was permanently disabled allegedly by an accidental shot from Robar.
In August of last year, a trial commenced in County Court, and arguments were raised about having hunters on the jury. Some potential jurors were dismissed for that reason, but ultimately a jury was seated and the trial commenced.
However, Judge LaBuda soon ruled it a mistrial, reportedly because of “discrimination” against those hunters who were not allowed to sit on the jury.
Neither the defense nor the prosecution wanted a mistrial, though, and the matter was appealed by Robar and his attorney, Jacqueline Ricciani of the Monticello firm Ricciani and Jose LLP, before a retrial could take place.
The appellate judges agreed with Robar and Ricciani’s contentions that LaBuda had overstepped his authority, and the mistrial decision was deemed unnecessary on the grounds that – contrary to LaBuda’s assertion – hunters are not a class entitled in and of themselves to constitutional civil rights protections.
“The fact that hunters may exercise their Second Amendment right – a right certainly not limited to hunters or conferred upon them because they are hunters – does not morph them into a cognizable group for equal protection purposes,” the appellate court wrote in its April 28 decision.
And since the prosecution had already presented its case before LaBuda’s mistrial ruling, the “double jeopardy” rule applies, so Robar cannot be brought back to court on the same charges.

Copyright © 1999-2012 Catskill-Delaware Publications.
The information you receive online from the Sullivan County Democrat Online Edition is protected by the copyright laws
of the United States. Please read our user agreement and our use information
privacy statement.
Internet Services provided by Time Warner, Site Design by Green Enterprises

Please be aware that once a new issue is posted on this site, the immediate previous issue's links change. Check our Archives section to obtain the new links for old issues.
top of page       top of page