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Jury To Get Subway Shove Case

March 22, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Revenge, not mental illness, drove a man to shove a woman to her death in front of a subway train, prosecutors said during closing arguments during his second murder trial. The defense said he suffered a mental ``earthquake.″

A jury was expected to begin deliberations later today on the fate of Andrew Goldstein in the death of Kendra Webdale on Jan. 3, 1999, two weeks after he was released from a mental hospital.

The jury in his first trial deadlocked and a mistrial was declared, with two jurors maintaining that Goldstein wasn’t criminally liable for the death.

Assistant District Attorney William Greenbaum told the second jury in closing arguments Tuesday that despite Goldstein’s decade of diagnosed schizophrenia, his attack on Webdale wasn’t related to his mental illness.

Greenbaum repeated his theory, stated in the first trial, that Goldstein attacked Webdale because she was a convenient target after he had been rebuffed and yelled at by another woman on the same subway platform in Manhattan.

Violence is not a symptom of schizophrenia, Greenbaum said, quoting a prosecution psychiatrist.

``This crime was committed not because defendant was mentally ill, but for the same reason it would be committed by someone not mentally ill _ revenge,″ he said.

Goldstein’s lawyer, Kevin Canfield, blamed the tragedy on his client’s mental illness.

``He pushed her to her death at a moment when his psychotic symptoms were at their worst,″ Canfield said, quoting Dr. Spencer Eth, a psychiatrist for the defense. Eth said Goldstein had a mental ``earthquake″ on the platform.

Goldstein faces up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. If jurors find him not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be sent to a mental institution and kept there until he is fit for release.

State Supreme Court Judge Carol Berkman ruled Tuesday the jury may also consider a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter, which carries a sentence ranging from probation to 15 years in prison.

Webdale, 32, had moved to the city from upstate New York about two years before her death. She worked at a Manhattan record company and was researching a screenplay.

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