August 17, 2010
OTTAWA — A judge has found probable cause that two men severely beat a Pandora man at his home last week. Court cases against the pair will continue, the judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge Chad Niese ruled there is sufficient probable cause against Larry J. Vanatta II, 30, of Bluffton, and Jason N. Davis, 35, of Lima, during a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Putnam County Court. Both are charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony, in the Aug. 8 beating of John J. Dally, 44. The suspects are the son and nephew of Dally’s girlfriend, Mary Vanatta.
All had been at a barbecue for Larry Vanatta’s 30th birthday earlier in the evening, Pandora Police Chief Scott Stant said.
“Ms. Mary Vanatta had a black eye. When she arrived there some of her family was asking her how she got a black eye,” Stant said. “Some of the children, her family, assumed that John Dally had assaulted her in a domestic violence situation and gave her the black eye. Mary stated that John did not.”
According to Stant, after leaving the barbecue all four went back to Dally’s house, where the assault took place. Mary Vanatta made a 911 call at 10:45 a.m. the next morning reporting Dally unconscious.
Dally was in critical condition at St. Rita’s Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said Tuesday.
Stant said Dally had been in a medically induced coma until earlier this week with bleeding on his brain.
Larry Vanatta appeared at the hearing with his right hand wrapped in medical bandages. Stant said Vanatta broke his hand during the beating. Stant said Vanatta told hospital personnel he hurt his hand while stacking firewood.
Larry Vanatta and Davis were in the Putnam County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The cases against the pair will now move to Putnam County Common Pleas Court.