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Man gets prison time for meat cleaver attack

March 23, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Calling the crime "the kind of thing of which horror films are made," Franklin County Judge Richard Walsh on Wednesday sentenced a Chambersburg man to 12 to 40 years in prison for attacking another man with a meat cleaver.

On Jan. 14, a jury convicted Andres Gonzales, 46, of 122 Buchanan St., of attempted homicide and aggravated assault in the attack on Christopher Stallworth of Chambersburg on the night of Jan. 29, 2005. Struck in the head with a large meat cleaver, Stallworth had a scalp injury and a fractured skull, according to Chambersburg police.

A presentence report recommended a minimum of 15 years in prison, and defense attorney Adam Bompadre asked for a sentence in the range of five to 10 years.

"The incident that gave rise to these charges could not be considered anything but brutal," said Walsh. "This is as lenient a sentence as it could be under the circumstances."

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"It is unlikely Mr. Gonzales is going to be a high-wage earner for the foreseeable future," Walsh said. Nevertheless, he ordered Gonzales to pay restitution of more than $14,000 for medical bills, lost wages and other costs incurred by Stallworth and the hospitals that treated him.

Through an interpreter, Gonzales said he was remorseful, but put part of the blame on his victim.

"It did not all come from me," he said. "If he had not started it, probably nothing would have happened."

The affidavit of probable cause stated police went to 272 Larch Ave. on the night of the assault and found Stallworth bleeding from a head wound. He and a woman at the house, Candida Drayton, identified Gonzales as the attacker.

Police said Stallworth and Gonzales got into an argument in which Stallworth slapped Gonzales in the face. Gonzales left the house, went to his home and returned a few minutes later with the meat cleaver. Police took Gonzales into custody at his home at 11:45 p.m., about 2 1/2 hours after the assault.

During his trial, the prosecution played a recording of Gonzales' 911 call in which he stated he meant to kill Stallworth.

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