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Bartholomey sentenced on battery charges

July 21, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

Bartholomey sentenced on battery charges



Four years after an argument about the Vietnam war sparked an assault that hospitalized a Pennsylvania man, the accused attacker appeared in Washington County Circuit Court Thursday.

Jeffrey Scott Bartholomey, 37, pleaded guilty to battery and was given a three-year prison sentence with credit for 14 months he served in jail awaiting trial for the July 1996 crime.

"I understand that the state's case is extremely weak and that this is a compromise," said Judge John H. McDowell as he accepted the plea.

That weakness stemmed from the fact that neither the victim nor his companions was able to identify the assailant.

Bartholomey was charged after he told a fellow inmate about the incident while he was serving time for another crime, said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion.

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Originally he was charged with robbery, theft and maiming in connection with the assault but was allowed to plead to battery, which is an element of maiming.

The victim, Merle Knode, spent two days at Washington County Hospital for treatment of a broken jaw and several broken teeth.

In his report, former Hagerstown Police Det. Mark Holtzman said the victim was found on the ground in the first block of North Walnut Lane shortly after 2 a.m. on July 22, 1996. He was bleeding from the mouth and face, police said.

The victim told police he had been at a bar in the 200 block of West Franklin Street in the early morning hours with friends. They left the bar and walked to an apartment a few doors away, followed by a man who said his name was Jeffrey, police reports said.

An argument over Vietnam began in the apartment and resulted in the victim being hit in the face.

At that point, the man named Jeffrey was escorted out of the apartment, all the while threatening that they hadn't seen the last of him, Circincion said.

A short time later, the victim left the apartment and walked to North Walnut Lane where he was hit in the back of the head, he told police.

He fell to the ground, and then was hit in the face with a stick and robbed of $400, the victim told police.

During their investigation, police said they learned Bartholomey was possibly also known as Jeffrey Scott and was in custody a few days after the incident at the Washington County Detention Center on an unrelated matter.

Bartholomey is serving a six-year state prison sentence for October 1999 felony theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle convictions. His prior record also includes robbery, burglary, resisting arrest and a parole violation.

McDowell ordered no contact with the victim during a one-year probation period.

Restitution of $4,918 for unpaid hospital bills was ordered.

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