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Deerfield defendant says he thought officer was ‘home invader’
“I thought it was a home invader,” Stanley West, 40, testified during his trial in Rockingham County Superior Court on charges of simple assault of a police officer and resisting arrest.
Defense lawyer Richard Samdperil told the jury that his client was the one who was scared by the man at his doorstep.
Samdperil told jurors that West’s actions were legally justified under the state’s “use of force” law, which allows a homeowner to protect himself when he believes he is being attacked.
West faces three felony counts of simple assault on a police officer and a single misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. Each of the simple assault charges carry a potential two- to five-year prison term and a $2,000 fine if he is convicted.
He told jurors that he met St. Onge at his front door.
West testified he told St. Onge he could not come in the house, and then found himself in a tug of war with the officer as he pulled at a screen door.
“I shined my flashlight on me. On my uniform to be sure (he knew) I would be a police officer,” St. Onge testified. “I proceeded to walk up the stairs.”
West testified that he tackled St. Onge again before he stopped once he heard gunshots that were fired by his wife.
“No,” West answered. “No one is allowed in the house. I have that right.”
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