A jury recently found Albert Dudley not guilty of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and possessing an instrument of crime. In 2012, Dudley become involved in an altercation with a fellow barber at the shop where he worked. Dudley had a concealed carry permit and during the altercation, his firearm was fired, striking his opponent.  Versions of the event vary considerably, though . . .

From the timesherald.com:

Later, Dudley gave investigators a written statement saying he had been at work when the victim arrived, appearing intoxicated. He claimed the other man became physically aggressive during the argument.

Originally, the suspect stated that during the tussle his gun fired accidentally while in the holster but changed his account several times, according to the criminal complaint. Dudley also said the victim took the gun from the holster and gained control of the weapon, but eventually the suspect (Dudley) regained control of the gun.

While gripping the firearm from the top, the gun fired as the victim backed Dudley into a wall, the gunman said.

At the trial, Dudley took the stand and gave this account:

On Thursday before closing arguments, Dudley took the stand and told the court the victim attacked him and he never meant for anyone to get shot on the day of the fight. He said the victim, whose name is being withheld by The Times Herald, was drunk started the fight. He further testified the man tried to grab his gun and in the struggle of getting his gun back, the gun went off. Dudley said once he realized the gun went off he offered to drive the victim to the hospital, but an ambulance and the police had already been called.

Given the variation in accounts and the potential attempt to alter a crime scene (Dudley was found with an empty casing in his shirt pocket), I can see why the prosecutors decided to go forward to a jury trial. Do not alter a crime scene. It only makes you appear guilty.

I have had shell casings end up in my shirt pockets, so it can happen without evil intent. Apparently the jury thought so as well. The prosecutor was gracious at the end of the trial.    

Prosecuting attorney Rebecca Strubel said she respected the jury’s verdict, but did not comment any further.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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12 Responses to In a Close Shave, Barber Acquitted in Workplace Shooting

  1. Does anyone else think this title’s play on words is over the top enough to think the article is a gag?

    Story is fishy enough as is but…the title damn near kept me from clicking.

  2. No, the gun did not “go off.” Someone pulled the trigger. That alone makes the whole story suspect, of course. Glad nobody was seriously hurt.

    Sure sound like a lot of bullshit charges, so they must have had a weak case in spite of the verbal tap dancing from the defendant.

  3. Two things:
    1. Don’t say a word without a lawyer. You really don’t know the motivations of the investigators. Someone may need a thumbs up conviction, especially in a Democratic/liberal area.
    2. Don’t mess with a crime scene.

    Be prepared for a much smaller bank account.

  4. Ugh, more passive voice gun discharge stories!

    As far as the shirt pocket: I’ve had a .22 casing end up in my bra when firing my walther p22.. The only gun I’ve ever owned that I truly despised. The burns were fun.

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