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article imageHomeowner hits Cops with a Taser Gun, Judge says he had 'a right to resist'

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 17, 2007 in Crime
Homeowner hits the cop with a Taser gun of the cops and the Judge said the homeowner had the right to resist.
John Coffin won't spend any more time in jail for beating up two sheriff's deputies inside his house, striking one in the head with a Taser gun he took from the other.
Circuit Judge Rick De Furia said at Coffin's trial Tuesday that he doesn't condone the violence against the deputies.
John Coffin beat two Sheriff's deputies inside his house but is out now, Judge released him saying Coffin had a right to resist.
Judge De Furia said in his statement, that the Police deputies had no papers or right to enter Coffin's house.
"Law enforcement was responsible for the chain of events here," De Furia said. "I think in situations like this, officers become so frustrated they go beyond what the law allows them to do."
The deputies were trying to serve Coffin with civil papers that had been given five days earlier. They made a mistake by entering the house without a search warrant. So when they served the papers, argument ensued between the deputies and Coffin's wife Cynthia, and a scuffle followed with Cynthia screaming and on the floor.
Coffin saw this, so he got into a fight with deputies, took the Taser gun from one of the deputies and beat Stacy Brandau, who was knocked unconscious.
Immediately thereafter Coffin was arrested on six felony Charges. His wife was arrested on obstruction Charges.
The Judge acquitted Cynthia's charges saying she had no obligation to follow their orders to bring her husband outside. And acquitted Coffin on 5 of 6 charges because of no proper search warrant papers. Coffin however pleaded no contest to the remaining charge of taking aTaser gun from one of the deputies during the fight.
Before handing down the sentence, De Furia asked how long Coffin spent in jail after his initial arrest.
"You spent eight days in the Sarasota County jail," De Furia said. "That's your sentence. No probation."
Coffin walked out of the courthouse with only a $358 bill for court costs. The sentence surprised Coffins defense attorneys, who had suggested De Furia sentence Coffin to probation.
Prosecutors wanted the judge to give Coffin a minimum on year prison time because of the injuries suffered by the deputies.
Assistant State Attorney Jeff Young told the judge this fight would not have happened, if Coffin had just come out and cooperated, instead beat up two police officers.
De Furia said even though the deputies' mistakes were unintentional, the Coffins had a right to lock every door and not cooperate with anyone unless they have proper papers.
Is the Judge De Furia right in this case?
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