“… members of the Asian-American community who gathered at a vigil on Saturday said they believe he was targeted because of his race.“There were a lot of people out at the harbor early that morning from different backgrounds. Why did the alleged perpetrator pick on those individuals?” said Ben Lumicao, an adviser on the city’s Commission on Human Relations.
John J. Haley, 31, of Chicago was charged Wednesday (2007) with first-degreemurder in Doan’s drowning and aggravated battery for a similar incident on July 31 at Montrose Harbor that involved a man who appeared to be Asian. Authorities allege that Haley was behaving erratically last weekend when he confronted another Asian fisherman and later shoved Doan into the water. Doan could not swim and died within seconds, police said. Because the Illinois Hate Crimes Statute applies to misdemeanors, it did not apply to Haley’s felony charges, Quon said. Prosecutors use the law to upgrade a misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony if the offender acted because of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.”
What does anyone expect when they push an elderly man into the water where there is retaining wall and no ladders, so much that his body flew far enough to determine this was a homicide? One does not take these actions unless a person intends to harm another human being.
Haley, 33, may be a “fool,” but he isn’t a murderer, Haley’s attorneys, Marc Gottreich and Timothy Grace, contended at his murder trail this week. After 7 1/2 hours of deliberation, a Cook County jury apparently agreed with that assessment late Friday, convicting Haley of involuntary manslaughter but acquitting him of first-degree murder charges. “The jury got it right,” Grace said. Haley “didn’t mean to kill the guy.”
So tell me, Mr. Grace, what exactly did your client intend when he pushed this old man who was minding his own business fishing at the pier, into water that he could not have hoped to have escaped from? Even a seasoned swimmer would have had problems because there is a retaining wall there, versus a wooden pier and/or a ladder that one could climb.
Today, Circuit Judge John P. Kirby honored Du Doan homicide by rejecting the jury’s outcome:
Kirby rejected that excuse.
“A thrill seeker puts himself in danger,” Kirby said. “A coward puts others in danger.”
Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence ranging from probation to five years in prison, but Haley’s prior felony drug conviction allowed Kirby to extend the prison term to 10 years.
Doan’s family members said the loss of the man left an “indescribable void.”
For the story posted by Matthew Walberg of the Chicago Tribune: