LOCKPORT – A Niagara County Court jury was divided 11-1 Tuesday in the case of Dennis C. Jeffrey, a Niagara Falls man charged with assaulting a man with a golf club. But the note from the jury that announced the split didn’t say whether the panel was one vote away from conviction or acquittal.
After nearly six hours of deliberation, which included twice reading back Jeffrey’s testimony as to what he intended to do with the golf club after grabbing it from his truck, County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III sent the jury home to resume work Wednesday morning.
Jeffrey, 50, of Ashland Avenue, is accused of hitting Jesus Portugues, also of Ashland Avenue, in the left side of the face with the golf club after Portugues dragged a tree limb into the Trott Access Center parking lot following a heavy thunderstorm and left it near the car of Jeffrey’s girlfriend. Jeffrey, also known as Dennis Townsend, testified he punched Portugues while holding the golf club in his other hand to deter another person whom he feared might attack him. Prosecutors say that man, if he existed, was too far away to be a threat.