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Union-News (Springfield, MA)
March 13, 1993
Author: NANCY H. GONTER ; STAFF : UNION-NEWS (Springfield, Mass.)
A former Springfield man admitted yesterday that he punched a state hospital worker in the chin after going to confront her about a racial slur he believed she said. He denied trying to strangle her.
Amere Robinson, 32, testified that when Northampton State Hospital internal investigator Carolyn Montan came toward him in her office, he “hit her as hard as I could.”
Robinson’s jury trial in Hampshire Superior Court on indictments charging him with assault and battery and attempted murder was in its second day yesterday. Closing arguments will be heard on Monday and the jury then will begin its deliberations.
Robinson is accused of trying to strangle Montan in her office at Northampton State Hospital on May 12, 1991. Montan testified on Thursday that Robinson got her in a headlock and squeezed until she lost consciousness. She said she did not know Robinson.
Robinson testified he was sent to Northampton State Hospital after being arrested at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield. He said he didn’t like being at Northampton State and was being given three kinds of medication for depression .
Robinson has since spent several periods of observation at Bridgewater State Hospital and currently is being held in custody at Hampshire County Jail.
Robinson said he was sleeping in a secure unit when Montan and other hospital employees came into the room. He testified that Montan used a derogatory term while commenting that most blacks should not be in institutions with white people.
A week later, Robinson said he went to Montan’s office to talk to her about the comment. When he got to her office door, she stood up and came at him with her arms extended, he said.
“She didn’t even say anything. It looked like she was coming at my face. I lost my cool,” Robinson said.
“I hit her just as hard as I could . . . because of what happened in the secure area,” he said.
After he hit her, she fell back and he turned and walked away, he said. He heard a sound like her hitting her desk, he said.
“I walked away. I was talking to myself. Don’t ever do that again. Don’t ever get in my face. . . . It was like telling her to shut up. Next time don’t get in my face and you won’t get slapped,” Robinson said.
Under cross examination by Assistant District Attorney W. Michael Goggins, Robinson acknowledged that he is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds and that Montan is a “slight woman.”
Goggins showed Robinson photos of Montan taken after the incident which show cuts and bruising of her eyes and neck, but nothing on her chin. Robinson could not explain them.
Record Number: MERLIN_234581
Copyright, 1993, The Republican Company, Springfield, MA. All Rights Reserved. Used by NewsBank with Permission.