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Aggravated Battery in the Game of Golf

According to the Palm Beach Post, a relaxing day of golf turned violent when a man became agitated and attacked his two partners with a putter. According to the police report, Michael Rich, of Royal Palm Beach, is in jail facing two counts of aggravated battery. Rich allegedly hit Roy Hall on the back of his leg with a golf putter and then swinging the broken golf club like a sword, struck Anthony Nazzaro, 72 years old, on the wrist.

In Florida, Aggravated Battery is defined as a simple battery, which is touching another person against their will or without their consent, and when committing the simple battery the person intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, and permanent disfigurement to the victim or uses a deadly weapon, when committing the battery. Aggravated Battery is a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in the Florida Department of Corrections.

Great bodily harm is distinguished from slight, trivial, minor, or moderate harm, and as such, does not include mere bruises, as are likely to be inflicted in a simple assault and battery. Key v. State, 837 So. 2d 535 (2nd DCA 2003).  Because great bodily harm is an issue of fact, more than likely the issue is for a jury to decide and not an issue for which a judge should determine.

Defining a deadly weapon means “any weapon that is likely to produce death or great bodily injury.”  Dale v. State, 703 So. 2d 1045 (Fla. 1997).  Again, the jury in most instances will determine the issue of whether or not a deadly weapon was used as it is an issue of fact and nit law.

When applying Florida law to the allegations of the Labor Day golf incidents, at the Madison Green Golf Club in Royal Palm Beach, Florida  a reasonable person can conclude that striking another person with a golf putter, satisfies the definition of a deadly weapon. Such act under Florida law increases a simple battery to an aggravated battery. One can also reasonably conclude that when the wayward golfer used the broken putter shaft, as a sword, and stabbed his 72 year golfing friend on the wrist, that the use of the metal shaft in a sword like fashion, also fits the definition of what a deadly weapon is under the aggravated battery laws of Florida.

If you or a loved one is charged with battery, aggravated battery, or any other violent crime, it is in your best interest to contact West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine. Palm Beach’s Criminal Lawyer, Andrew D. Stine, has been defending those accused of battery, domestic battery, aggravated battery and all weapons charges for over a decade. Hire Stine or Do the Time.

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