STAMFORD, CT -- More than 2 1/2 years after killing a 78-year-old resident with a punch in a downtown parking lot, a Florida chiropractor received the maximum one-year jail sentence Friday for criminally negligent homicide.
Judge Gary White, who presided over William Lindemann's June trial, said the former Greenwich resident acted cruelly, callously and violently toward Herbert Davidson and had no concern for the older man after punching him.
Backing up his words, White said Lindemann left Davidson bleeding on the frozen pavement in January 2009 without calling police or an ambulance and fled Stamford and the state for Florida after throwing the punch.
White went on to say Lindemann did not tell the truth during his trial testimony when he said he did not know how old Davidson was.
He said Lindemann has a history of violence, proven when his wife obtained a protective order against him in Florida while the case was pending in Stamford. Lindemann also has seven felony convictions involving mail fraud on his record.
"His conduct was grossly negligent and cruel," White said.
Moments after judicial marshals led Lindemann away, Davidson's wife of 39 years breathed a sigh of relief outside the courtroom.
"I just loved it when they put those handcuffs on him," said Rhea Davidson, a former Stamford teacher for four decades. "But so little time for him. We will never get our Herb back," she said sadly.
According to testimony in the case, on Jan. 27, 2009, Lindemann punched Davidson after he began berating the younger man in the parking lot behind Curly's Diner.
Lindemann said defended himself after he saw something in Davidson's hand and thought the older man had a weapon.
Davidson was going to the diner to attend a poetry circle.
One witness said Davidson fell like "deadwood" after Lindemann punched him.
At the completion of his trial, a jury found Lindemann not guilty of the more serious charges of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault of a person over 60 and second-degree manslaughter.
During the sentencing, Davidson's adopted son Bruce Davidson said he spent weeks by his father's side in intensive care. Davidson succumbed six weeks after the attack to his injuries sustained during his run-in with Lindemann.
Asking White to pronounce the maximum sentence, Bruce Davidson pointed at Lindemann and yelled, "That man took my father's life and walked away and was tracked down only by his credit card bill left at the scene. That is a responsible person?"
His brother, Raphael Davidson, also asked White for the maximum sentence.
"What kind of person walks away from an old man dying?" Davidson asked. "Mr. Lindemann has done so much damage to us."
When it came time for her to talk to White, Rhea Davidson said Lindemann could have used a lesson that she taught in kindergarten for 40 years.
"Lesson number one. Keep your hands to yourself and use your words," she said. Davidson said she was worried about what Lindemann will do on the street.
"He will kill again. I want Mr. Lindemann in jail," she said.
After the Davidson family had their say, Lindemann said he had come to admire Davidson, and through sobs said he sounded like a "wonderful man" and wished they could have met under different circumstances.
He gave the Davidson family his condolences for Davidson's death and apologized for the role he played in ending his life.
He told White he would accept whatever sentence he pronounced.
Source: The Connecticut Post