Former State Senator Jeff Woodburn is charged with multiple counts of violence against a woman and her property. To explain away these expressions of anger the large man who assaulted the smaller woman is claiming self-defense.
The State of New Hampshire, which brought the charges, has replied to defendants notice of self-defense and motion to strike. It frequently refers to Woodburn’s own words. I will leave it to you to decide how, if at all, Woodburn can cling to the claim that he was defending himself.
As a lead-in, back on September 28th, I wrote,
We are meant to believe that the object throwing, biting, and destruction of private property (including an innocent dryer and the victim’s front door) were reactions to attacks upon the person of Jeff Woodburn?
We are supposed to believe. The North Country Boosters for J-Woody went long on supporting him and his claims.
Wrong? Yes. Criminal? Questionable. It’s called life and Germans. You are Greek. You should understand misogyny and hot tempers. I’m Irish…never seen a spat that didn’t involve something being thrown or something damaged.
#metoo may be global, but NH plays according to its own set of rules.
If you forgot, Democrat Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier wrote,
“…beginning to believe Jeff is completely innocent and [Ted] Bosen’s statement that he could not support Woodburn should he win a primary is enough to remove him from being a party official. I am NOT going to be pushed aside, if anything, I’m really coming out swinging!!! Stay tuned, if you have a weak stomach you won’t like it…PG”
Swinging. Stomach. Interesting choice of words.
All before they read what was in his journal, I’d imagine.
Woodburn documented his thoughts in a journal in which he admits to various abuses. The State observes that,
“…the defendant, in his journal, admitted to the damage done to the dryer writing that after an argument with the victim, in which she threw his clothes out onto the lawn, “I responded by kicking the door off the dryer, we have not communicated since that night, I feel bad about the whole thing.”
Not bad enough to plead guilty. More?
In text message exchanges between the defendant and the victim which were provided by the victim, she confronts the defendant about throwing the water and the cup at her face and the defendant makes admissions about committing the assault.
His bad. But still not guilty enough to plead guilty.
We learn that Mr. Woodburn has both anger issues and a problem with jealousy. He is (apparently both) possessive and compulsive. But still not guilty.
[A] friend was present during a phone call between the victim and the defendant, and the call was on speakerphone so the friend could hear both the victim and the defendant speaking. According to the friend, during this call, the defendant admitted to, among other conduct, biting the victim.
There’s no self-defense there, there!
The State’s evidence makes it clear that this assault was in no way a defensive act. A trend that continues throughout.
On December 24th Mr. Woodburn punched the victim in the stomach and later kicked in her door. The State’s evidence is substantiated by the Defendant’s own journal entry.
“..The entry states, “Mind is sad and focused on my failure to control my anger.” The defendant added “I’ve had a few explosive moments with [the victim]..it’s becoming regular and it scares me.” He went on to write that the victim had gotten upset with him over some of his Facebook posts, which ultimately ended with him leaving her home.
He wrote that in leaving he had forgotten his wallet and stated “I banged on the door and she didn’t respond or let me in! I became enraged and kicked the door in busting up the framing around the door.” He wrote that he left the victim’s home and went to the Woodburn Home in Whitefield, N.H. He added in the journal entry “It’s so embarrassing upsetting. It just keeps repeating itself in my brain… 52 years old I need to grow up! I risk so much and hurt people who I should be “
I’m a Victim of Circumstance (woo woo woo)
Woodburn’s claim to self-defense appears to hinge on the possession of a weapon by the victim. The State observes that given the charges, there are a limited number of incidents in which that would apply and they are not clear yet for which event this claim will be made.
The defendant’s journal makes no mention of weapons, self-defense, or assault by the victim. And it seems unlikely that this would apply to the most recent biting incident in June of 2018.
During this incident, the victim had picked up the defendant from his birthday party and was driving with him to her residence. While in the vehicle the two got into an argument over the victim having left the party earlier in the night, before she returned to pick him up so that they could return to her residence.
During the argument, the defendant, who was in the passenger seat, reached across and grabbed the steering wheel of the car while the victim was driving and the car was still moving. The defendant then proceeded to bite the victim’s right arm as she struggled to maintain control of the car while driving. The victim was eventually able to pull over to the side of the road, at which point the defendant got out of the car.
The Defendant got angry and assaulted the victim while she was driving. Grabbing her arm and biting it.
There is no evidence that at any time during this incident the victim physically restrained or blocked the defendant from leaving the vehicle
I’m not saying that having anger and self-control issues isn’t a problem. Jeff has some things to work out. Step one is admitting you have a problem. But excusing your behavior publicly by claiming self-defense is not step two.
The AG’s Case Didn’t Start With the Victim
We also know that despite all of this, it was not the victim who initiated the investigation. Someone in the General Court, a fellow legislator or staff member, tipped off the Attorney General. She didn’t bring this upon him. But it’s quite clear from the evidence so far that he brought it all upon himself.
“Attorney LaFrance argued that her client did not initiate contact with the police,” the order states. “She argued that the investigation started based on an inquiry from the General Court.”
LaFrance explained that she was addressing accusations that her client had run to police to extract revenge.
The problem appears to be that the victim chose to cooperate. Rather than stand down to protect a political figure she allowed herself to be interviewed by the NH AG’s office. She told them her story. Provided access to evidence.
As I noted here, Woodburn still intends to claim self-defense. We look forward to seeing how that works out for him.Woodburn.StatesObjection.Notice of Self Defense