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Alleged spitting leads to charges

November 26, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A man who was to testify in a neighborhood dispute case alleges that the defendant in the case spat on him Tuesday in Washington County District Court and that the judge took no action.

Jason Shawn Kesner alleges the incident occurred during the morning court session as Judge Ralph France was about to pronounce sentence on Charles Ardinger Spigler for one count of malicious destruction of property.

In a complaint he filed against Spigler later Tuesday in District Court, Kesner said he was sitting in the first row of benches when France began to sentence Spigler to 13 months in jail.

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"I thought he was going to say something to me but he just spit in my face,'' Kesner said by telephone Wednesday.

Kesner claimed Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Doyle also witnessed the incident.

"I don't think the judge saw it, but I was very much surprised that he didn't do anything about it,'' Kesner said, especially after the deputy told the judge he saw it.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Hardy said she didn't see the actual spitting.

"I heard Kesner say, 'did you see that? he just spit on me,' and then I looked and saw spit on Kesner's shoulder," Hardy said.

At that point France asked Doyle if he had seen the spitting incident and Doyle told the judge he had, according to Hardy.

"The judge didn't do anything," Hardy said, noting that France proceeded to sentence Spigler for bashing a windshield on a car last August with a crowbar.

"It was appalling," Hardy said, referring to the incident.

Spigler, 29, of 1001 Beaver Creek Church Road, was served with a criminal summons Tuesday charging him with one count of second-degree assault on Kesner.

The maximum penalty for second-degree assault is 10 years in prison.

France, who was not working Wednesday, couldn't be reached for comment.

Spigler is serving a four-year prison sentence for violation of probation, plus the 13 months imposed consecutively Tuesday for destruction of property, jail officials said.

In the Aug. 31 incident from which the charge stemmed, Spigler and three other people, including Kesner, drove to a home in the 1000 block of West Washington Street in the early morning hours.

Kesner told police that Spigler got out of the vehicle and used a crowbar to smash the windshield of a vehicle belonging to a couple involved in a neighborhood dispute.

Based on Kesner's statement, Spigler was charged in early September, court records said.

Kesner's testimony wasn't needed Tuesday because Spigler entered a guilty plea, court records said.

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