Update: The Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that Carter should not have been tried and reversed the conviction.
Former NY1 political reporter Dominic Carter was found guilty of third degree attempted assault on Friday in the beating of his wife. Ramapo Justice Arnold Etelson found that Mrs. Carter’s injuries were not serious enough to support a misdemeanor assault charge.
Marilyn Carter initially told police that her husband “hit me several times in my face, my back, my stomach, all over my body” during an argument over their epileptic son. She changed her story on the witness stand and blamed her swollen lip, cut ear, bruises and bloody clothes on “a day laborer” whose name she didn’t get.
That didn’t fly with the judge, who wrote in his decision that “[t]he court finds Mrs. Carter’s denial of defendant as the perpetrator and her blame of the attack on an undescribed unknown day laborer as nothing short of preposterous. A day laborer working on the lawn would not be doing so at 9:18 p.m. in late October.”
Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said he wasn’t surprised that Mrs. Carter changed her story. “Victims of domestic abuse on a regular basis change their mind and do not cooperate. It’s not rare in the vast number of domestic violence cases. You have to acknowledge it’s part of the syndrome of domestic violence and still make the case.”
Carter faces up to a year in jail and probation at his sentencing on Jan. 14.