Last April, Dimitry Sheinman, his wife, who was eight months pregnant, their 2-year-old daughter and their large dog were lying in a meadow in Inwood Hill Park, in Upper Manhattan, when a fluffy little white dog came bounding out of some bushes and jumped on Mrs. Sheinman's belly and the sleeping toddler's stroller.
Dimitry Sheinman in Manhattan Criminal Court, where he was convicted Monday of assaulting a man last year in Inwood Hill Park.
Mr. Sheinman, an artist and construction worker, yanked the dog by the collar, or maybe kicked it, as its owner, Rene Perez, came charging up, yelling and calling Mr. Sheinman a criminal, according to testimony at trial. Mr. Sheinman, retorting that he was innocent until proven guilty, punched Mr. Perez at least once.
Yesterday, after a two-day trial, a jury took barely an hour to convict Mr. Sheinman, 41, of reckless assault, a misdemeanor, for hitting Mr. Perez. Most misdemeanor charges are resolved by negotiation, not trial. But not only did this one go to trial, it also had a homicide detective in a back row, and a bevy of prosecutors and reporters dropping in and out. It was not an ordinary trial, and everyone knew it, even the jury.
The NY Post said:
The conviction is the only criminal hold investigators have on Sheinman, who Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has named the "prime suspect" in the ritual slaying of promising theater student Sarah Fox.
Sheinman has not been charged in Fox's murder. But he has bizarrely volunteered to cops that he's had "visions" of her body, which was left to decompose in Inwood Hill Park, nude and surrounded by ritually scattered flower petals. Sheinman also knew unpublished details of the crime scene.
Mr. Sheinman was acquitted of two other misdemeanor counts, intentional assault and attempted assault. He is now out on $100,000 bail posted by his father, Yuri, and is due back in court in the next few weeks. He faces up to a year in jail at sentencing. Sheinman's family moved to South Africa. He has been traveling to court from there, where he lives with his wife, Jane, an architect, and their two children.
His father said yesterday that the treatment of his son in the assault case had been "unproportional" to the charges. "They ruined his life...This is America."
A Killing Looms Large Over a Case of Assault [NY Times, Feb. 7, 2006]
JUILLIARD SUSPECT IS GUILTY [NY Post, Feb. 7, 2006]
'Sarah Fox' Suspect Guilty In Another Assault [story & video, WCBS-TV. Feb. 6, 2006]
The Johnsville News coverage of the Sarah Fox Murder:
Sarah Fox Murder Suspect on trial for assault [TJN, Jan. 30, 2006]
Sarah Fox Murder Case: Cold and close to forgotten [TJN, Dec. 2, 2005]
Prime Suspect Identified in Sarah Fox Murder Investigation [TJN, Dec. 7, 2004]
Prime Suspect Identified by Police in Sarah Fox Murder Case [TJN, Dec. 2, 2004]
Sarah Fox murder case grows cold and reward is raised [TJN, Nov. 21, 2004]
Sarah Fox Murder Mystery Update [TJN, June 9, 2004]
Juilliard Student Murder Mystery - Sarah Fox [TJN, May 28, 2004]
Sarah Fox [anglesmissing.com]
One Year Later, And Still No Arrest In Brutal Murder [abcnews/crimeandjustice.us, July 1, 2005]
Body of Sarah Fox ID'd; Death Ruled A Homicide [Gothamist, May 27, 2004]