A man who was accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend was acquitted of felony charges and convicted of two misdemeanors Wednesday in Niagara County Court.
"It's definitely a win," defense attorney Michele G. Bergevin said regarding the verdict in the case of Mahnseah T. Boley, 32, of Hilton, Monroe County.
Two weeks ago, Boley rejected a plea offer that would have sent him to state prison for as long as 11 years, deciding to go to trial and risk conviction on felony counts carrying a potential 25-year sentence.
Now, the former college wrestling champion and professional mixed martial arts fighter faces no more than two years in the county jail, and he's already served almost eight months since the Sept. 5 incident.
Boley is a U.S. citizen and the son of the former Liberian rebel leader George S. Boley, who was deported to Liberia last month because of war crimes charges stemming from that country's civil war in the 1990s.
After four hours and 45 minutes of deliberation over two days, the jury of eight men and four women found Boley not guilty of first-degree burglary, second-degree sexual abuse, second-degree strangulation and criminal obstruction of breathing.
He was found guilty of two counts of third-degree assault.
The most serious count was the burglary charge, carrying a 25-year maximum prison term.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre argued during the seven-day trial that Boley's action met the legal definition of burglary, calling Boley's actions an unlawful entry with an intent to commit a crime that ended up injuring the victims.
He knocked on the door of a home on 22nd Street in Niagara Falls about 7 a.m., after a friend told him that his former live-in girlfriend was there. The door was answered by the woman's new boyfriend, a physician who immediately became involved in a one-sided fight with Boley.
"It was a fight and [the doctor] lost," Bergevin told the jury.
All the key rulings near the end of the trial went against the prosecution.