Dallasblack.com: Report: Virginia Man Who Fatally Punched A Woman For Calling Him The N-Word Receives Prison Sentence

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Monday, April 09, 2018 10:07 AM

Report: Virginia Man Who Fatally Punched A Woman For Calling Him The N-Word Receives Prison Sentence

By: Elliah Dash-Stell

Report: Virginia Man Who Fatally Punched A Woman For Calling Him The N-Word Receives Prison Sentence
Hm.

A 27-year-old Virginia man was found guilty of second-degree murder on Monday, April 2nd, for fatally punching a woman he claims called him the N-word during a heated verbal exchange. 

A judge is expected to formally sentence Robert Coleman on May 24th. They will likely adhere to the jury’s 10-year recommendation.

According to reports, Coleman and his girlfriend, Nikki Howard, went to a 7-Eleven convenience story in July to purchase cigarettes, while the victim, Fedelia Montiel-Benitez was there to purchase alcohol. 

The two then began arguing (it is still unclear what kicked off the bickering). Howard is seen on security surveillance trying to break up the spat.

Footage shows Montiel-Benitez leaving the store, before turning around to face Coleman. That’s when she allegedly used the N-word.

Coleman told law enforcement he snapped upon hearing the racial slur and punched the 39-year-old, which landed her in a coma; Montiel-Benitez died 10 days later. 

The man insists he never intended to kill Montiel-Benitez and alleged because of her large size and short hair, he assumed she was a man. 

Prosecutor David Lord argued that bringing up her appearance and her high alcohol level in court was in poor taste.

“She deserves to be treated with more humanity,” Lord told the jury.


Coleman reportedly fled the scene and when detectives later found him, he denied any involvement. However, he ultimately admitted to the argument, after he learned of Montiel-Benitez critical condition.


Lord stated that Montiel-Benitez didn’t know English well enough to use the word and went on to say that, even if she did, “words alone” aren’t a good enough reason to murder.


Coleman’s attorney stated that, although they’re disappointed in the second-degree murder charge, they are content with the proposed 10 year sentence, given the murder charge carries a sentence of up to 40 years.


It seems that Coleman’s defense had hoped that the jury would see the incident as manslaughter, as their client hadn’t intended to take Montiel-Benitez’s life.


Second-degree murder and manslaughter apply to killings that weren’t premeditated or planned—the major distinction between the two is that manslaughter charges are typically applied in instances where the assailant was acting under extreme duress; in other words, where the assailant was provoked to act in an unreasonable or disturbed way.


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