Boonsboro man sentenced to 12 years for bludgeoning neighbor

William Bryan Bolton Jr. was convicted of assault in incident with John Miller

December 29, 2010|By DON AINES |

A Boonsboro man convicted of bludgeoning his next-door neighbor with a sawed-off riot baton insisted he was innocent Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court just before he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

"John Miller attacked me ... at my home, on my property," William Bryan Bolton Jr. told Judge John H. McDowell.

In an October bench trial, McDowell found Bolton, 50, guilty of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and reckless endangerment while intoxicated.

Bolton told McDowell there were witnesses to the assault "and we will find them." Bolton said he only struck Miller once after he had been attacked by the 68-year-old man on the morning of Oct. 4, 2009.

Bolton also repeated a claim his 75-year-old girlfriend made at the trial that Miller had tried to rape her in March 2009.

"Your true nature has, I believe, shown itself ... when you attacked and severely injured Mr. Miller," McDowell said.

The judge noted Bolton's lack of remorse and said he attacked Miller "without any appropriate provocation."

The Washington County Sheriff's Office was called to Bolton's home at 8613 Sharpsburg Pike for an assault and found Miller sitting on his porch next door with a large cut over one eye and his ear "about cut in half," according to trial testimony by Deputy 1st Class Tom Routzahn.

Deputies found Bolton in his house with the 30-inch club at his feet.

"I did it. I hit him," Bolton said, according to Routzahn's testimony.

"We're going to ask you to impose the 25 years and get him out of our community," Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion told McDowell, referring to the maximum sentence for first-degree assault.

The attack on Miller, she said, "could have been deadly."

Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa said she found Bolton to be coherent and intelligent sometimes, but prone to memory lapses. She asked McDowell to impose a sentence within the state guidelines in the range of six to 12 years.

"I'd like to see him get every year possible," Miller told the judge. "He repeatedly threatened me and then he took action."

McDowell imposed a sentence of 22 years in state prison with 10 years suspended. Following his release from prison, Bolton is to be on supervised probation for five years and have no contact with Miller.

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