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‘Urban Fear Syndrome’ Defendant Convicted


A man who said he was defending himself from a group of menacing, rowdy juveniles was convicted Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter for shooting a 13-year-old boy to death.

Nathaniel Hurt, 62, also was found guilty of using a handgun in the commission of a felony. He faces a mandatory prison sentence of at least five years. His sentencing hearing is June 12.

The defense argued that Hurt suffered from “urban fear syndrome” brought on by years of stress and intimidation from neighborhood vandals. The syndrome isn’t medically recognized and Judge Ellen M. Heller limited testimony on it.

“You can’t have a society where people just kill people,” prosecutor Mark Cohen said after the verdict. “It shows you can’t take the law into your hands.”

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