Rutland man convicted of assault

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — A Rutland man has been convicted of misdemeanor assault following a jury trial this week in Meigs County Common Pleas Court.

The jury did not reach a verdict on the originally charged offense of felonious assault, a felony of the second degree.

Brewce W. Martin, 54, of Rutland, was indicted in 2017 after an incident in the parking lot of Taz’s Marathon in which he allegedly used his vehicle to cause or attempt to cause harm to another person.

Defense attorney Britt Wiseman asked that the jury be allowed to consider the lesser included offense of assault, a misdemeanor of the first degree, in addition to the original charge. The judge granted the request and instructed the jury on both charges before deliberations.

The trial began on Thursday morning with jury selection. Testimony was presented to the jury on Thursday afternoon and into the evening, including testimony from the defendant, victim, two witnesses and Chris Jones, who was the deputy called to the scene at the time of the incident.

The jury received the case around 9 p.m. on Thursday night, deliberating until 10:30 p.m. They returned at 9 a.m. on Friday morning for continued deliberation, with the verdict announced just before 10 a.m.

Prosecutor James K. Stanley explained after the verdict that the difference between the two charges was only the use of a deadly weapon. In this case, said Stanley, the jury must have decided that a vehicle did not meet the specification to be a “deadly weapon.”

According to previous Sentinel reports, the victim reported to law enforcement, at the time of the incident, that he was walking back to his car when Martin allegedly threatened him and then tried to run over him with his car. The victim was able to get into his vehicle just before his vehicle was reportedly struck by Martin’s vehicle. Martin then fled the scene. The victim’s car reportedly received significant damage from the incident.

Judge Linda Warner ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed in the case and set sentencing for 1 p.m. on Dec. 9. Martin remains free on a recognizance bond until sentencing.

By Sarah Hawley