Man to Use 'March Madness' as Affirmative Defense in Court
Albany, GA -- In a pre-trial motion filed in inferior court, attorneys for 27 year-old James Michaelson announced their intention to seek an affirmative defense for their client, who changed his plea from regular-old "not guilty" to "not guilty by reason of madness" -- March madness to be exact.
Ralphy (left), the victim of crime in question, is seen here with his long time love Fluffy (right), only days before the vicious attack.
Mr. Michaelson is charged with destruction of property, petty theft , and animal cruelty in the case. In court documents the prosecution alleges that the defendant attacked his neighbor’s dog, a 35 pound Scottish terrier, kicking the dog multiple times in the alleged attack before the dog fled to the safety of his owner’s porch. Then, the defendant allegedly proceeded to destroy the dog’s house, a traditional style dog house. Police allege that the 27 year-old then kept a piece of the destroyed doghouse as a souvenir of his crime. Police recovered the piece of dog-house debris during a search of the suspects home.
"The case could be a litmus test of justice, to see whether television and sports induced hysteria qualifies for a legally sustainable defense," said legal scholar John H. Crabtree, who will be taking a semester off from teaching at a prestigious Boston, MA law school.
The police offer a different interpretation of the crime, saying that Michaelson was intent on exacting revenge on the dog for all the times the dog has gone to the bathroom on the Times, the defendants favorite newspaper.
"The fact that this attack occurred in the Month of March is an irrelevant detail. Trying to hide behind the madness of the NCAA annual championship tournament is just an effort avoid taking responsibility for his actions," the lead prosecutor on the case told reporters outside the courtroom last week.
Analysts estimate that legal fees and payments to expert witnesses, along with other trial related expenses could quickly top $3 million dollars.
If convicted Michaelson could face up to a $500 fine and 90 days probation.
One friend and former fraternity brother close the Michaelson tried to explain the defendant’s seemingly irrational course of actions. "Knowing Jimmy, I am not surprised that he is trying to fight this thing. After all, there are two things he hates more than anything else. One is losing and the other is picking up his sports page in the morning only to find it is soaked in urine." His former frat brother added, "don’t ask me how I came to learn those facts about Jimmy, ‘cause I am not going into any more detail."
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