7-year sentence handed down in ‘horrific’ assault case


By J Swygart - jswygart@limanews.com



Anthony Spangler confers with his attorney, Jerry Pitts, prior to being sentenced to seven years in prison for aggravated robbery.


J Swygart | The Lima News

LIMA — A Columbus Grove man was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday in Allen County Common Pleas Court for his role in the assault and robbery of a local man in February of this year that left the victim with permanent physical and psychological injuries.

Anthony Spangler, 22, was sentenced by Judge David Cheney as one of two defendants in the case in which the victim was left half-naked in a rural field after an evening of drinking and partying. Spangler was indicted in April on charges of aggravated robbery and kidnapping, each first-degree felonies, and a second-degree felony charge of felonious assault. In April he agreed to a negotiated deal with prosecutors which called for him to plead guilty to a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery in exchange for the remaining two counts being dismissed.

The other individual charged in the case, 23-year-old Richard Mears of Lima, previously pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison. A third individual, a juvenile, reportedly was present when the incidents took place but was not charged.

Defense attorney Jerry Pitts argued that his client was “not the mastermind” of the incidents that occurred on Feb. 26 but was merely following the lead of his co-defendant. Pitts said the entire day in question was guided by “alcohol, drugs and bad decisions” on the part of several individuals and that trying to put the majority of the blame on Spangler “is just not right.”

The victim in the case told Cheney that he woke up in a farm field on the evening of Feb. 26 “naked from the waist down” and in a disoriented and humiliated state. He eventually found his way to St. Rita’s Medical Center and then to Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus, where he was diagnosed with a fracture of the right eye, an injury he said he was told could lead to permanent blindness in the eye. Two surgeries later, the victim said, he still suffers from partial double vision and will for life.

He told the court he had suffered “a litany of unwanted physical and psychological abuse … all for a pointless event; for a measly $15” that was stolen from his pants pocket that evening.

“I humbly request that you show the defendant the same mercy and compassion he showed me that night,” he told Cheney.

And the judge heard his message, scolding Spangler for a long criminal record as both a juvenile and an adult and asking the Columbus Grove man “why is the message not getting through to you?”

Spangler apologized to the victim and said he was “mad at myself for letting everything happen.” But Cheney said he saw no evidence of true remorse.

Based on Spangler’s extensive criminal history, Cheney ordered him to spend seven years in prison and serve a mandatory five years of post-release control.

Anthony Spangler confers with his attorney, Jerry Pitts, prior to being sentenced to seven years in prison for aggravated robbery.
http://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/10/web1_Anthony-Spangler-sentenced.jpgAnthony Spangler confers with his attorney, Jerry Pitts, prior to being sentenced to seven years in prison for aggravated robbery. J Swygart | The Lima News

By J Swygart

jswygart@limanews.com