Jeffrey Sumpter, of Bridgeport, charged with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor in Saturday melee at Dunkin Donuts.
STAMFORD — A Bridgeport man who was assaulted by three juveniles while he was at work in Norwalk will have to spend 18 months in jail for stabbing one of the attackers.“I was defending myself,” Jeffrey Sumpter, 21, told Judge John Blawie on Monday morning at the Stamford courthouse when he was sentenced for stabbing one of the males in the leg last October. Blawie told Sumpter that he understood and believed his version of events, but he said he had to follow the letter of the law.Sumpter, dressed in a white prison jumpsuit with short sleeves, did not reply. His public defender Howard Ehring said unlike a state like Florida, which has a law allowing its residents to stand their ground, Connecticut law requires Sumpter to retreat from the beating he was given at the Dunkin’ Donuts where he worked. After being assaulted inside the coffee shop, Sumpter ran outside and stabbed one of the men.Ehring said the fact that a search of one of the men turned up shotgun shells, showed the four were looking to hurt Sumpter. No shotgun was found. Blawie said he hoped this would be Sumpter’s last “bid,” slang for prison sentence, because now that he has been convicted of felony first-degree assault, he will be treated more harshly by the criminal justice system going forward. Sumpter will have to spend three years following his jail sentence on probation, during which time he could be made to serve all or part of a three and one-half year prison sentence if he breaks the law.
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An ex-cage fighter was caught in possession of a shotgun after he blasted himself in the groin – and had to have a testicle removed, a court heard.
Scott Benjamin, 30, was rushed to hospital for surgery after he suffered the ‘self-inflicted’ wound in the bedroom of a house on January 4 last year.
A court heard police were called to an address in Walsall, West Midlands, after reports of a disturbance and found Benjamin trying to smash a window with a bed.
Officers had to break down the door to the upstairs bedroom where he had ‘barricaded’ himself in, jurors were told. Benjamin was discovered under a mattress in a pool of blood with two sawn-off shotguns nearby. He claimed he suffered the injury – which led to him losing a testicle – at the hands of a gang of eight masked men who burst into the property. But prosecutors have dismissed his version of events as ‘complete nonsense.’
On Thursday Benjamin went on trial accused of two charges of possessing a sawed-off shotgun and two of possessing a firearm when prohibited to do so. Wolverhampton Crown Court was told officers forced entry to the house armed with Tasers and protective shields. Laura Culley, prosecuting, said Benjamin was found trying unsuccessfully to manhandle the base of a bed through a smashed upstairs window. Used cartridges were also recovered and a fingerprint of the defendant was uncovered on one of the weapons Giving evidence, Pc Martin Fraser, the first officer at the scene, said: ‘As I went in I immediately heard a colleague shout ‘gun.’ I could see a mattress with somebody underneath. ‘I looked down and could see a sawn-off shotgun as well as a man under the mattress. ‘He looked very confused as if under the influence of drugs or it might have been shock.’ The defendant claims hooded armed men had forced him to touch their guns and ammunition and wounded him while shooting out windows at the address He claimed to have known ‘one or two’ of the intruders from their build and the sound of their voices, but refused to name them. Following hospital treatment, he told a police officer: ‘I don’t know why they say I shot myself. I didn’t. Somebody shot me. I was set up.’ During a formal police interview, he added: ‘They started firing at the windows and I asked to be hit in the body and not the face if I was going to be shot. ‘The gun was nearly touching me. ‘He started poking my head. Then he let it off and I just remember the pain..’ Following the shooting, the wounded man barricaded himself into his room and began throwing things out his window in a bid to attract passersby. The court heard how Benjamin had been on a cocaine and alcohol binge the day before the shooting. When asked in interview if this had altered his perception of the incident, he allegedly said: ‘It could seem like that but why is somebody going to start popping off shots and then shoot themself for no reason?’ He also suggested that the motive for the ‘attack’ was an ‘issue’ with another man that he refused to name. Benjamin claimed the housemate Andrew Fellows, who lived at the address with Tina Richards, had owed the same man money and set him to up settle the debts. Giving evidence from the witness stand, Mr Fellows said: ‘Why would I set him up? He is a friend of mine. Have you seen the size of him? I didn’t stitch anyone up.’ He also said he was at a ‘complete loss’ to explain why the shooting had happened. Benjamin, of Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, denies the charges. The trial continues.
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