Goetz 'a jerk,' but justified in shooting, his lawyer tells jury

April 23, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK -- Bernhard Goetz's lawyer told a Bronx jury that his client was "a jerk" and that "someone should punch him in the mouth" for uttering racist epithets.

But he argued that Mr. Goetz's flawed character should not obscure that he was justified in shooting four teen-agers he thought were about to rob him on the subway a decade ago.

The attorney, Darnay Hoffman, urged the jury to look beyond Mr. Goetz's words and try to understand his actions.

During the trial to determine whether Mr. Goetz should pay $50 fTC million to Darrell Cabey, one of the four people he shot on the subway, evidence showed that the so-called subway gunman had referred to the attack as a public service.

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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