LIMA — Jurors in the case of a Delphos man who prosecutors say choked the mother of his child to the point of unconsciousness will hear one last piece of testimony Tuesday morning before beginning their deliberations.
Testimony in the trial of Marcus Sullivan, 45, began Monday in Allen County Common Pleas Court and featured contradictory statements from Sullivan and the alleged victim in the case.
Sullivan is charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony that includes a specification designating him as a repeat serious offender. That designation stemmed from aggravated burglary and weapons under disability convictions in 2010.
Prosecutors allege that on the evening of Jan. 27 Sullivan did knowingly cause serious physical harm to Lillie Burge, with whom he has an 11-year-old daughter.
Burge testified Monday that on that date she went to Heat Treating Technologies on East Fourth Street in Lima to pick up her nephew from work. When she arrived she saw a vehicle belonging to Sullivan, who also worked at the business, in the parking lot of the business. Burge said she approached the vehicle to speak with Sullivan but found it unoccupied.
Sullivan exited the business shortly thereafter and began a conversation with Burge which she said turned confrontational. Burge said she returned to her car and moved it to the other side of the parking lot to avoid further issues. Sullivan, she said, followed her on foot.
Asked by Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Thines if Sullivan at any point became physical with her, Burge replied, “He choked me.”
The woman said she was “not really able to breathe” when Sullivan reached through her car window and choked her with two hands. She was able to exit her vehicle when, she testified, Sullivan choked her again and threw her down onto the snow-covered parking lot.
Surveillance video taken by Heat Treating Technologies was played for jurors and appeared to support much of Burge’s testimony. But when Sullivan took the witness stand later in the day he claimed the video — which was taken from a substantial distance away — did not show everything that transpired in the business’s parking lot.
He said he had reached inside Burge’s vehicle to remove her keys because she had been drinking. At that point, Sullivan testified, he was cut several times by an unknown object wielded by Burge.
“Did you put your hands around her neck?” Defense Attorney Carroll Creighton asked Sullivan.
“No, I did not,” he said emphatically. “I did grab her face as she walked past me and I pushed her up against the car.”
“Did you intentionally render her unconscious?” Creighton asked.
“No, I did not,” Sullivan said.
Asked by Thines under cross-examination if he grabbed Burge and caused her to lose consciousness, Sullivan conceded, “Yes, it does appear that way on the video.”
Because Burge reportedly hit Sullivan with her vehicle on two separate occasions before leaving the business, Creighton said he would ask that jurors be instructed to consider self-defense in the case.