June 25, 2013
LIMA — A man who slashed another man’s throat nearly killing him was sentenced to 14.5 years in prison Tuesday.
Bruce Bagley, 50, was sentenced on the charge of felonious assault to eight years in prison with an additional five years in prison for being a repeat violent offender. Bagley was convicted of attempted rape in 1984.
That sentence was in addition to 18 months he received for a domestic violence conviction and for violating a protection order.
Bagley slashed the throat of Elwood Fletcher on June 27, 2012, causing an 8-inch wound that was just fractions of an inch from cutting major blood vessels and killing Fletcher. Bagley was angry with a member of Fletcher’s family who he believed stole a cellphone from him. The crime happened at the corner of Kibby Street and Harrison Avenue.
Bagley claimed he acted in self-defense but jurors did not buy it returning a guilty verdict in 45 minutes. He maintained that claim at sentencing likely setting the stage for an appeal at taxpayers’ expense.
At his trial, Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Jana Emerick said Bagley did not meet any of the thresholds for self-defense. He had a duty to retreat and did not, he started the incident, and he used too much force by bringing a knife to, what at most, was going to be a fistfight.
Bagley also did not help himself by lying to a police detective during a video recorded interview that was played to the jury. He lied about his involvement before finally admitting to slashing Fletcher while asserting he did it in self-defense.