Douglas Kennedy acquitted in hospital case - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Douglas Kennedy acquitted in hospital case

Posted: Updated:
Douglas Kennedy Douglas Kennedy

By JIM FITZGERALD | AP 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Douglas Kennedy, a son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was acquitted Tuesday of child endangerment and harassment charges stemming from a scuffle in a hospital maternity ward.

Kennedy had tried in January to take his newborn son from Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco. He said he just wanted the 2-day-old boy, Anthony Boru Kennedy, to get some fresh air.

However, several nurses objected, saying his request would violate hospital policy. Kennedy tried to leave anyway, and two nurses claimed he hurt them as they blocked his way.

Mount Kisco Town Judge John Donohue, who heard the case without a jury, ruled that Kennedy broke no laws. He said testimony showed that the baby was not in danger — except from the nurses' actions — and that Kennedy did not demonstrate any intent to hurt them.

The judge said he didn't have to rule on whether it was a good idea to take the baby outside.

"The Court is not determining whether the defendant's behavior was wise or prudent," he wrote.

Kennedy's lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, said Kennedy and his wife, Molly, "are thrilled that this nightmare has finally come to an end."

The hospital confrontation resulted in a series of alarms, including a "code pink," which is used to signal a baby's abduction. In his closing argument, Gottlieb called the alarm "preposterous."

The judge found that the nurses knew Kennedy planned to return and was not absconding with the baby.

Gottlieb argued that the nurses overreacted to Kennedy's request and when they realized the hospital would investigate, they "join together, get their stories straight and pressure the district attorney's office to bring charges."

He said they'd been told that any potential lawsuit for damages would have a better chance if a criminal conviction came first.

"This case from Day One was all about money," he said at a Manhattan news conference.

Nurse Anna Lane testified that Kennedy twisted her arm as she tried to block him from going through a door to a stairwell. Nurse Cari Luciano said Kennedy kicked her as she reached for the baby in Kennedy's arms.

Gottlieb said it was a push rather than a kick and was an instinctive reaction of a father trying to protect his baby. The judge said that explanation was "consistent with the defendant's demeanor" as seen on hospital surveillance video.

Kennedy fell during that scuffle but kept hold of the baby. Prosecutors said his actions endangered the infant.

"The fact that the baby was not injured is a miracle," Assistant District Attorney Amy Puerto said.

But the judge said the nurses' actions — blocking the door and trying to take the child — "were intervening factors that caused the defendant to lose his balance."

Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the Westchester district attorney's office, would not comment on the verdict.

Kennedy, 45, is the 10th of 11 children of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. His father was assassinated in 1968. President John F. Kennedy, his uncle, was assassinated in 1963.

Douglas Kennedy's sister-in-law, Mary Kennedy, hanged herself in May in Bedford. His sister, Kerry Kennedy, has pleaded not guilty to drug-impaired driving after an accident on Interstate 684.

___

Associated Press Writers Jennifer Peltz and Colleen Long in New York City contributed to this report.

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Poll: It doesn't take money to be stylish

    Poll: It doesn't take money to be stylish

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:53:49 GMT
    A new Marist College poll finds most Americans say it doesn't take a lot of money to be stylish. The nationwide poll by the Hudson Valley college found 86 percent of respondents said it was possible to be stylish on a limited budget. The other 14 percent agreed with the statement that it's only possible to have good style with a lot of money. The poll also found that 68 percent of Americans think we focus too much on fashion.
    A new Marist College poll finds most Americans say it doesn't take a lot of money to be stylish. The nationwide poll by the Hudson Valley college found 86 percent of respondents said it was possible to be stylish on a limited budget. The other 14 percent agreed with the statement that it's only possible to have good style with a lot of money. The poll also found that 68 percent of Americans think we focus too much on fashion.

  • NY ranks among top 5 states for kids' health

    NY ranks among top 5 states for kids' health

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:33 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:33:17 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    New York ranks among the top five states for children's health, according to the 25th edition of the Kids Count Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report released Tuesday looks at data from 1990 that show the major trends in child well-being, and recent trends that compare data from 2005 to 2012. New York showed improvement in all eight categories of health and education for children.
    New York ranks among the top five states for children's health, according to the 25th edition of the Kids Count Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report released Tuesday looks at data from 1990 that show the major trends in child well-being, and recent trends that compare data from 2005 to 2012. New York showed improvement in all eight categories of health and education for children.
  • Repaving of Palisades Parkway begins

    Repaving of Palisades Parkway begins

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:42:19 GMT
    Crews have begun repaving along the Palisades Interstate Parkway. The last time such work was done on the road, which links New York state to the George Washington Bridge, was the mid-1990s.
    Crews have begun repaving along the Palisades Interstate Parkway. The last time such work was done on the road, which links New York state to the George Washington Bridge, was the mid-1990s.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices