State Sen. Darius Brown was found not guilty Thursday by a jury on charges of offensive touching and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
Brown had been charged in May after an incident in a Wilmington restaurant during which, the victim testified Wednesday, he hit her and threw a martini glass at her, which shattered.
The victim said that she and Brown have known each other for about 10 years and have been “off again on again” dating throughout that time. He became angry when he saw a Facebook photo of her with another man on her cell phone.
Nobody in the restaurant saw Brown hit her or throw the glass at her, and the altercation happened mostly out of view of the restaurant’s surveillance camera.
Prosecutor and Deputy Attorney General Joe Grubb told the jury of seven women and six men, including an alternate, that he would provide evidence that Brown punched the victim in the head, picked up a drink and “launched it at her.”
None of the four other prosecution witnesses saw what happened, only the aftermath. A surveillance tape in the restaurant showed Brown get up and lean over slightly, at which point a customer and bartender turn their heads toward the table. Brown then out quickly left the restaurant.
The prosecution pointed to a receipt they recovered for a bouquet of 12 white roses sent to the victim the day after the altercation. The unsigned card said, “I Love You 50-11” times, a phrase the victim used. Prosecutors hinted that the bouquet demonstrated that Brown was conscious of his guilt following the altercation.
Grubb said the state does not need to prove that the woman was injured, and she was not seriously and did not require medical attention.
The state must prove, Grubb acknowledged, that Brown intentionally made contact with the victim with a part of his body — his fist — knowing that his actions would cause offense or alarm. It also needed to establish that Brown caused some kind of public annoyance, defined as an offensive gesture, noise or display.
Brown’s defense attorney, Bill Rhodunda of Rhodunda, Williams & Kondraschow, said it would have been physically impossible for Brown to have struckhis accuser. He referenced earlier statements from her and others which said she had moved to the far end of the 6-foot-long booth. In court, he showed that Brown could only have reached about halfway down the length of the table.
This is a developing story. Check back for more.
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