Created on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Written by NATE SMITH
A defendant was sentenced Monday before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor to prison for assaulting another man using his vehicle.
Zachariah Bates, 25, of Bellefontaine, was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $1,966.02 in restitution for felonious assault, a second-degree felony.
The November incident saw the defendant crash his vehicle into the side of another car during an altercation with a male. An indictment also charged him with criminal damaging.
Mr. Bates is an admitted alcoholic. He said in court Monday he was ashamed and embarrassed by what he’s done, adding that he was drunk that night also.
Defense attorney Natalie Bahan said her client was the victim of extensive physical abuse as a child, and having already fathered one child with another on the way, Mr. Bates hopes to get a grip on his alcoholism before it’s too late.
Prosecutors said Mr. Bates has a, “long history of assaultive behavior.” Judge O’Connor noted the defendant’s five-and-a-half pages’ worth of criminal history as a juvenile and adult.
Mr. Bates will be eligible for judicial release before his prison term expires, but the court said in order for it to grant an early release, the defendant must agree to a stay at the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility.
Mr. Bates requested a furlough before he’s transported to prison, a request that was swiftly denied.
“Given his record, I’d be insane to grant a furlough,” the judge said.
Jail sentence suspended on charge of assault
The court suspended a six-month jail sentence Monday for a man who previously pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of assault.
Dale J. Lovett, 36, of 3208 County Road 55, was sentenced to two years’ community control and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and court costs for punching a man who came uninvited onto his property Dec. 12.
The defendant was ordered to be assessed for anger management counseling, and had $500 of his fine suspended, along with his jail sentence, .
Mr. Lovett initially was charged with a second-degree felony count of felonious assault for punching his neighbor during a dispute over some hay. The defendant knocked out several of the man’s teeth during the dispute, a fact that prosecutors maintain constitutes, “serious physical harm” and a second-degree felony.
The case actually went to trial May 1 after prosecutors wouldn’t amend the charge to a misdemeanor. The charge eventually was amended halfway through the trial after the judge determined that prosecutors weren’t adequately proving their felony case.
Ms. Bahan said her client was “not in any way proud of his actions,” but emphasized he was acting in self-defense that day. She reminded the court that Mr. Lovett was at home on his couch with his daughter when the victim came to the door. Mr. Lovett believed the man was after trouble and the man even took a step to come inside his house, Ms. Bahan said.
Asked by the judge whether he thought he over-reacted and had a problem with anger, Mr. Lovett couldn’t say. He declined any comment and did not apologize for having punched the man.
At trial, defense proved that Mr. Lovett had paid for the hay in question.
Three other defendants pleaded guilty in court Monday, including:
• Jill McConnell, 32, of Bellefontaine: possession of drugs. She was granted intervention in lieu of conviction and must complete three years’ community control and drug and alcohol counseling;
• Betty Jean Carter, 23, of Bellefontaine: eluding a police officer; and
• Zane Grandi, 23, of Russells Point: possession of drugs. Presentence investigations were ordered and sentencing is July 15.