Updated Mon, Oct 28, 2013 1:10 pm
A man convicted of Child Endangering, a felony in the third degree, and Felonious Assault, a felony in the second degree, was sentenced Friday afternoon in Jackson County Common Pleas Court.
Nicholas A. Bethel, 24, of Wellston, was found guilty of both counts by a jury of his peers in August. The Child Endangering count stems from an incident involving a 3-year-old boy on March 21 of this year, while the Felonious Assault charge was from an incident with an adult male on the same day
According to court documents the child sustained bruising on his buttocks and his back as a result of the incident, and the man was struck with a metal jack handle to the head causing serious injuries.
During his sentencing hearing Jackson County Common Pleas Court Judge Chris Regan asked Jackson County Prosecutor Justin Lovett, and Assistant Prosecutor Pat Story, what the State would recommend as far as sentencing. Lovett responded the State would recommend the maximum sentence for each charge. Lovett stated the maximum for a felony of the second degree is eight years, and for a felony of the third degree, is 36 months.
Regan next asked Attorney Jill Shriver, who represented Bethel, what her recommendation would be. Shriver said that because Bethel had no extensive history of crimes, she would recommend the minimum when sentencing.
The judge next asked Bethel if he would like to speak on his own behalf, but Bethel said, “no.”
Regan said during the sentencing that because Bethel had shown no remorse and still maintained his innocence, after being convicted and the “heinous” nature of the crime, he was sentencing Bethel to the maximum three years for the Child Endangering count, and a total of six years for the Felonious Assault, to be served consecutively.
Regan stated Bethel would get credit for time served and that any applicable fees would be assessed to Bethel. He also informed Bethel that once released from prison, he will be under the Adult Parole Authority and will be expected to obey all laws, refrain from alcohol and/or drug usage, and comply with any other specifications, that if not followed, could result in his going back to prison.
“Bethel beat a 3-year-old child, inflicting bruises from the shoulder blades to the knees, and later struck the child’s grandfather in the head with a metal jack handle,” stated Prosecutor Lovett of the nine year sentence that resulted. “Bethel was indicted on the highest felony offenses possible and my office pursued the maximum prison sentence permitted by law for his offenses.”