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N.C. man sentenced in jail assault

March 26, 1998

N.C. man sentenced in jail assault

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Raleigh, N.C., man will serve from six months to two years at a state forestry camp instead of prison time for a Christmas 1997 attack on an inmate at Eastern Regional Jail.

Eric Paris, 20, pleaded guilty to battery Wednesday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. He was sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence to run concurrently with a five- to 18-year sentence for a robbery charge in Mineral County, W.Va.

Under the Youthful Offender Act, which gives some young offenders an opportunity to get rehabilitated rather than go to jail, Paris will go to the camp instead.

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If he completes his time there, he will be on probation. If not, he returns to jail to finish the remainder of his sentence.

"I just want to do good and turn my life around," Paris said Wednesday after the sentencing.

According to court documents, Paris was in Eastern Regional Jail on an unrelated misdemeanor charge on Dec. 25, 1997, when he went into another inmate's cell and struck him with a blunt object.

Michael Bull was sleeping, but awoke to see Paris leaving his cell, court records said.

Bull required reconstructive surgery to his left eye socket, records show.

Paris was originally charged with malicious wounding for the attack, but that felony charge was lessened to a battery charge in a plea agreement.

- Amy Wallauer

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