Shai Dromi to serve five months of community service

Negev farmer shot and killed Beduin man who tried to steal his sheep.

Dromi 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 1)
Dromi 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 1)
Shai Dromi, the Negev farmer who was acquitted on charges of manslaughter and assault in aggravated circumstances, is expected to spend five months performing community service for his conviction on charges of illegally possessing and using a weapon, his lawyer and the state said on Sunday. The sentence, which has not yet been formally approved by the Beersheba District Court, came in the form of a plea bargain reached on Saturday night by Dromi's lawyer, Benny Nahari, and the prosecution. "I'm not satisfied, but I accepted it," Dromi told The Jerusalem Post later in the day. The Dromi affair triggered nation-wide controversy over his actions and the problems of theft faced by farmers all over the country. On January 13, 2007, Dromi spotted four Beduin after they poisoned his guard dog, cut the wire fence and entered his courtyard to steal his flock of sheep. He fired one shot into the ground as they walked toward him and five more after they started running away. Khaled al-Atrash was shot twice and killed, while Ayub el-Hawashleh was hit three times and seriously wounded. The incident led to the Dromi amendment to the Penal Law which provides a broader defense regarding criminal liability to home and business owners if they kill an intruder. Before the bill was passed, Dromi was charged with manslaughter, assault in aggravated circumstances and illegal possession and use of a weapon. Two of the three judges on the panel, Beersheba District Court President Yehoshua Pilpel and Judge Rachel Barkai, voted to acquit Dromi of the two more serious charges. Judge Ariel Vago gave a dissenting opinion. All the judges convicted Dromi of the third charge and the court was due to pass sentence on September 30. On Sunday, however, Dromi, represented by Nahari, and the state prosecution informed Pilpel that they had reached a plea bargain whereby Dromi would perform community service for six months, less the month he had been remanded in custody during his investigation. On September 21, Dromi will meet with an official in charge of community service to determine what kind of work he will do. Nahari said there was no doubt the court would approve of the sentence at the hearing at the end of the month.