In July 2017 an intoxicated Mexican woman (believed to be a heavyset man) called a Black man [Robert Coleman] a "nigger" at a 7-Eleven in Alexandria Virginia. After disparaging words Robert struck her with one punch to the face landed her in a hospital coma for 10 days until she died.
Robert was found guilty of second-degree murder at trial in Alexandria Circuit Court on April 2. Robert and his legal team argued and insisted that he never meant to kill Fedelia Montiel-Benitez. In fact, Coleman told detectives that he thought Benitez, who was heavyset and wore short hair, was a man.
Prosecutors told the jury that the 39-year-old woman did not speak English well enough to use such a slur and that even if she had, it did not justify Robert’s response. We all know every adult person is aware of derogatory terms towards Blacks in their native language.
During closing arguments, prosecutor David Lord told the jury that “words alone shouldn’t be a reason to kill someone". Any other circumstances her actions would have been a hate crime.
Yet the lies that White women told against Black men from slavery to post Jim Crow era have gotten Black men killed by lynchings and public executions from tree hangings, lethal injections, even ordered death by electric chair.
An Arlington Virgina jury recommended that Robert, 27, serve 10 years behind bars for the death of Montiel-Benitez.
The judge is expected to formally sentence Robert on May 24 and will likely adhere to the jury’s 10-year recommendation. The maximum punishment for second-degree murder is 40 years in prison.
We are raising funds to assist Robert's family with legal fees in efforts of appealing and reducing sentencing.
- Who's to say the hospital isn't at fault for the death? the person was in their care for 10 days.
- Why is Robert charged with 2nd Degree Murder rather than Manslaughter?
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