Man found not guilty of assault

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


A jury of six men and six women has found an Austintown man not guilty of an assault on the father of his girlfriend that could have landed him behind bars for up to eight years.

Adam Swauger, 23, of North Edgehill Drive, Austintown, had been on trial in the courtroom of Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court last week facing one count of felonious assault.

The jury began its deliberations before noon Wednesday and reached a verdict Friday evening. Swauger was found not guilty of the charge and released.

Mark Hockensmith, an assistant county prosecutor, told jurors Swauger had been arguing with his girlfriend, the mother of his two children, when he went to the home of her parents, where she had been staying. He said the couple had been arguing over a cell phone and memory card.

Hockensmith said Swauger arrived at the Poland Township home and continued the argument with his girlfriend then struck the tail end of a Ford car in the driveway with a small “blackjack” — a club used for self-defense. He said the girl’s father, Wesley Owrey, the victim in the case, demanded Swauger leave the property, but Swauger hit him across the top of the head with the club.

Atty. David Engler, representing Swauger, said there was plenty of reasonable doubt for the jury to consider.

He said Swauger’s girlfriend testified she did not see any type of club in Swauger’s hand at the time he arrived at the house and got out of his car.

Engler said the state also failed to prove the club Swauger was carrying could cause one’s death. He said his client did not go to the Owrey home with the intent or purpose to commit harm to the alleged victim but went there to see his children.

Swauger and the Owreys’ daughter are expecting their third child.

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