Douglas Kennedy lawyer preps opening statement in nurse attack case
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On Sunday, the day before Douglas Kennedy was scheduled to go to court to face charges that he attacked two nurses at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, his lawyer was busy preparing an opening statement.
"We certainly will be having an opening statement, and evidence will be heard," attorney Robert Gottleib told Newsday, speaking from his Manhattan office Sunday. "We're working on it as we speak."
Kennedy, 45, is scheduled to appear in Mount Kisco Town Court on Monday morning. The son of the late Robert F. Kennedy Sr. and a Fox News reporter living in Chappaqua, Kennedy has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and physical harassment stemming from a January incident at the hospital.
Kennedy allegedly tried to remove his 2-day-old son, Bo, from the maternity ward to take him outside for fresh air. When nurses Cari Luciano and Anna Lane tried to stop him, he allegedly kicked one and grabbed another's wrist. Hospital surveillance video shows a nurse apparently falling during the altercation. Hospital security staff prevented Kennedy from leaving the hospital.
It's not clear whether a judge alone would determine the outcome of the case or a jury would be empaneled for the trial, a potentially time-consuming process. Gottlieb's suggestion that opening statements would be delivered on Monday suggest the trial would be a so-called "bench" trial involving a judge only.
The lawyer for the two nurses, Elliot Taub, didn't return calls for comment.
In March, Taub sent a letter to Kennedy on behalf of the two nurses with a bizarre offer. The nurses would settle the case, Taub wrote, if Kennedy apologized to them on NBC's "Today" show, pay an unspecified amount of cash and agree to perform community service for two weeks, preferably collecting garbage.
Kennedy declined the offer.