So, the question for the day is a simple one: can a broomstick be a deadly weapon? Well, of course it can, in the hands of a kung fu master like Bruce Lee. Apparently, Bruce Lee can kill with a feather. But, if Bruce Lee is the standard–everything on earth is a deadly weapon. But in real life, the courts have applied a different standard. Let’s take a look.
In Brevard County, Brandon Brown was convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. You lawyers out there know that the bad thing about aggravated battery is that it is a level seven (7) offense, scoring 56 points on a score sheet (any score above 44 points translates into a mandatory prison sentence, ouch). Brown appealed his conviction for aggravated battery, in Brown v. State, 86 So.3d 569 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012). Here’s what happened.
Brown is alleged to have used to “hollow, flimsy, plastic broomstick” to batter his former girlfriend. She sustained no injuries, though did testify that the hits were very painful. In the middle of the jury trial, Brown’s defense attorney asked the judge to dismiss the aggravated battery charge because the prosecutor never introduced into evidence the broomsticks–not even photographs, and further argued that the broomsticks did not meet the definition of “deadly weapon”. For some unknown reason, the judge denied the defense lawyer’s motion to dismiss. After the judge denied Brown a dismissal, Brown took the stand and testified to battering the victim with the plastic broomsticks. Brown’s defense attorney again moved for dismissal. Again, denied.