Judge Finds Winthrop Man ‘Not Guilty’

Thursday, January 23, 2014
By Transcript Staff

A motorist, charged with allegedly driving at then-Winthrop Town Council President Jeffrey Turco in a Nov. 7, 2011 election eve incident, was found not guilty this past Friday.

James Lederman, 70, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene after causing personal injury, and recklessly operating a motor vehicle, all stemming from the incident.

Turco and some of his campaign supporters alleged that Lederman swerved his vehicle toward Turco during a campaign sign-holding event, causing Turco to hit his hand on Lederman’s vehicle as it traveled past him.

Following three days of testimony from eight different witnesses, the Commonwealth’s evidence was deemed to be insufficient as a matter of law to sustain the charges against Lederman. At the close of the Commonwealth’s case, the Honorable Justice Michael J. Coyne entered “Not Guilty” findings in each of the charges. The jury-waived trial was held in Boston Municipal Court.

“Despite having to endure the embarrassment and humiliation of having to deal with this matter over the past two years, the truth prevailed,” said Lederman. “This was simply a case of politics at its worst.”

“From Day 1, I said that the truth would prevail in this matter,” said Lederman’s attorney, Sean F. Donahue, of Boston.

Turco, an attorney who was president of the Town Council in 2010 and 2011, said, “I want to thank the Winthrop Police and the District Attorney’s Office for doggedly pursuing of the case and while I disagree with the decision, I respect our legal system.”

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