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Trial averted when man pleads no contest to assault



A trial scheduled for later this week will not go forward after the accused tendered a no contest plea Monday before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor.

Leonard E. Epps III, 20, of Ft. Jennings, was found guilty of an amended charge of assault, a first-degree misdemeanor. He originally was indicted in May on a second-degree felony count of felonious assault and a trial was to begin Thursday.

On April 18 the defendant got into an altercation with a then 17-year-old male that resulted in Mr. Epps choking and punching the juvenile, leaving him with a fractured jaw that required treatment at two hospitals, assistant prosecutor Dan LaRoche said.

The defendant faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine when he is sentenced Oct. 12.

Defense attorney Peter K. DeSomma noted for the court his client admits to punching his victim, but claims he did not choke him.

“By entering this plea, you’re admitting the truth of the statement of the prosecutor,” Judge O’Connor said.

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