July 23, 2014

Medina
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Spencer Twp. man gets four years in assault case

MEDINA — A 23-year-old Spencer Township man was sen­tenced to four years in prison Thursday for beating his preg­nant ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend with the handle of a car jack assembly in May.

Marvin Neal, 13017 Bursley Road, went to the Guilford Town­ship home of his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend on May 16. The woman, who was six months pregnant, told sheriff’s deputies that she stepped in front of her boyfriend because she did not think Neal would hit her since she was pregnant. Neal then hit the 25-year-old Creston woman in the head with the handle and proceeded to hit her 25-year-old boyfriend several times.

Marvin Neal, of Spencer Township, was sentenced to four years in prison for beating two people with a jack handle in May. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY MARIA KACIK KULA)

Marvin Neal, of Spencer Township, was sentenced to four years in prison for beating two people with a jack handle in May. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY MARIA KACIK KULA)

Neal was charged with two counts of felonious assault, both second-degree felonies. For the count relating to his ex-girl­friend, there was a specification stating she was pregnant. That means the prison term for that charge will be mandatory and Neal will not be eligible for any early release. The child is not Neal’s.

“This is the first pregnant woman specification I’ve seen,” Judge James L. Kimbler said Thursday.

Neal originally pleaded not guilty to the offenses in May, but changed his plea to guilty in July. Neal apologized to the victims in court Thursday.

“I just wanted to say I’m sorry. It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t mean to harm you,” he said.

His lawyer, David Sheldon, said in court Thursday that Neal didn’t have time to stop before hitting the woman after she jumped in front of him.

She “got in between them just as he swung something at (her boyfriend). So it wasn’t as if she steps in front of him and my client has time to think of his actions,” he said.

Assistant Medina County Pros­ecutor Matthew Razavi said his office believes Neal intended to hit the woman, but he said Neal was guilty of felonious assault for both the man and woman even if there was no intention.

“The state’s position is this is a very dangerous person,” Razavi said. “This is a very serious offense.”

In past cases the handle of a jack has been used as a murder weapon, he said.

“That’s something that eas­ily inflicts death. … Both peo­ple suffered lacerations and head injuries and concussive injuries to their heads. It could have been much worse” Razavi said.

He recommended a sen­tence of six years, while Shel­don requested a three-year sentence. Kimbler ordered a sentence of two years for each assault count.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.