NORWICH – The attempted murder-hate crime trial of a corrections officer who pointed his pistol at a black man on a Norwich City Street and shot him, after a night of drinking and racial threats, has ended with the judge ruling the prosecution failed to prove the defendant's intent beyond a reasonable doubt, finding him not guilty on all charges.
Following a three-day bench trial that began on Monday, Chenango County Court Judge Frank Revoir Jr. gave the verdict, finding Wayne Spratley, of Greene, not guilty on all five counts against him. For an incident took place at 3:30 a.m., July 19, 2015, in a parking lot along Lackawanna Avenue in Norwich.
The judge said Spratley “...was beyond disgusting and reprehensible and certainly dangerous."
After finding Spratley not guilty the judge called him “the luckiest man alive in Chenango County right now,” before adding he should never be allowed to own a firearm.
“The uncontradicted evidence presented is that you consumed alcohol, all while carrying a concealed firearm. Not only were you carrying a concealed fire arm, but you were displaying the firearm along with your correction officers badge claiming to be a police office, all the while making racially charged statements directed at the victim. Ultimately someone was shot, but thankfully no one perished,” said Revoir in court Thursday, adding “Under no circumstances should you ever have the right to carry a firearm...”
Revoir citing his reasons for the ruling said the prosecution had failed to establish a case beyond reasonable doubt.
Key factors to the not guilty verdict, said Defense Attorney Micheal E. Garzo, were changes in testimony by witnesses called by the prosecution, and the fact Spratley was being tackled when his gun went off, indicating a lack of intent.