Montgomery County man not guilty in attempted murder of 2013 alum

Richard Dodds guilty of aggravated assault and related charges, but not attempted murder, jury says Friday.

After two days of deliberations from the jury, a Montgomery County man was found not guilty of attempted murder of a Temple grad student on Friday at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Richard Dodds was accused of shooting the victim, Ian Hirst-Hermans, a 2013 Temple grad, near the chest on the night of Oct. 31, 2010, during a Halloween house party on the 2100 block of N. 17th street. Defense Attorney Christopher Phillips claimed the defendant used his weapon to defend himself during a heated altercation, where the victim charged directly at him.

“This is a case about responsibility,” Phillips said during closing arguments on Tuesday. “Adult responsibility.”

During deliberations on Wednesday, the jury asked judge Hon. Nina Wright-Padilla if Dodd’s demeanor in the courtroom could be used as evidence to decide the case. The defendant reportedly had trouble staying alert due to medications he took while on trial.

The evidence given during the trial should only be the deciding factor, said Padilla.

Although Dodds was acquitted of attempted murder, he was found guilty of aggravated assault and possession of instrument of crime with intent. Both of these can carry a sentence up to 10 or 20 years in prison, heavy fines and court costs.

Despite the lesser verdict, Hirst-Hermans was satisfied with the trial’s outcome.

“I was never really out to get the guy,” he said. “I think it’s fair he received some punishment for what he did.”

Sentencing for the remaining two charges will begin on September 30.

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