Steven Pomie faces at least 21 years in jail for assault that disabled victim for life
Saying that a crime that is “motivated by hate is particularly disturbing,” a Brooklyn judge sentenced Steven Pomie to a maximum of 25 years in prison for the 2005 assault on Dwan Prince, a 28-year-old gay men who was left permanently disabled by the attack.
As she gave out the sentence, Deborah A. Dowling, the trial judge, said that sentences can be intended to punish, rehabilitate, or isolate a defendant from society.
“Based upon everything that I’ve heard, Mr. Pomie does need to be isolated,” Dowling said at the April 24 sentencing hearing.
Pomie, 23, will have to serve roughly 21-and-a-half years, or six sevenths of the sentence, before he will be eligible for parole. On March 27, a Brooklyn jury took less than a day to convict him of the top charges he faced—assault in the first degree and assault in the first degree as a hate crime.
Pomie, along with two other men who have not been apprehended, attacked Prince because he was gay. The attack took place in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn on June 8.
Prince, 28, spoke at the hearing.
“I pain so much I cannot even cry,” he said before he was overcome with emotion and was unable to complete his statement. His mother, Valerie Prinez, read it for him.
“Three men almost killed me,” she read. “If Steven Pomie had any compassion he would have revealed the other two guys.”
Prinez spoke on her own behalf at the hearing as well.
“Dwan was already suffering from AIDS and because of Steven Pomie my son will have to suffer over and over and over,” she said. “If Steven Pomie wants to do the right thing, he’ll reveal the other two guys who tried to kill my son.”
Pomie also spoke at the hearing and maintained his innocence.
“I did not commit this crime, first off,” he said. “The person who committed this crime is on the street right now… I’m sorry for the heartache.”
Pomie began to weep as he spoke and Prince tried to hand a box of Kleenex to him, but a court officer would not allow the box to be passed to the defendant.
Before the sentencing, Kleon C. Andreadis, Pomie’s attorney, asked Dowling to set aside the verdict or declare a mistrial.
“The court can either do what is easy or what is right,” Andreadis said.
He said the Brooklyn district attorney had sent a subpoena attached to a letter to Kim Young, Pomie’s girlfriend and one of two people who could confirm Pomie’s version of the assault, which had kept her from testifying, Andreadis charged.
“It scared this defense witness off the stand,” he said. “I cannot think of anything more intimidating and contrary to ethical practice.”
Andreadis also said that the district attorney had not given the defense a police report containing Young’s statement until it was turned over by a detective on the witness stand.
Thomas C. Ridges, a senior assistant district attorney in the Brooklyn prosecutor’s office who handled the case, said that Pomie had spoken with Young by phone the night before the trial began.
“Counsel said he had no opportunity to speak with this witness when clearly he did,” Ridges said. “The defendant knew how to find her… I believe that Mr. Pomie had more updated information that I did.”
Dowling denied both motions.
“After listening to both sides, the court finds the motion is not warranted,” she said. “There is never an easy or a right thing. There is only the just thing.”
Following the hearing, Ridges said that there “is still an active investigation” into the other perpetrators.
Asked if he thought Pomie might now name the other two, Ridges said, “Honestly, no.”