A 32-year-old Boardman man will spend the next two years on probation for beating two men with a shovel near his home in 2010.
Russell W. Wine of Melrose Avenue was given the sentence Wednesday by Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Com-mon Pleas Court for two counts of felonious assault. Wine could have been sentenced to as much as three years in prison on the charges.
Judge Evans ordered Wine to serve the first 90 days of his sentence on house arrest.
Wine originally was charged with two counts of felonious assault, but those charges were reduced to aggravated assault under a plea agreement.
Police said Wine walked over to a nearby yard, where two men sitting on the front-porch steps were drinking beer in September 2010.
According to police reports, Wine told officers he heard the two men from inside his home, confronted them and “freely admitted to striking the pair with the shovel.”
The injured men were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, one listed in critical condition. The victims have recovered from their injuries.
Wine and his attorney, Lynn Maro, told the court there is a good explanation for Wine’s actions the night of the attack.
Maro said the neighboring property belongs to Wine’s sister, who has a serious drug problem and two children. She said Wine heard a commotion at the house and immediately was concerned for the safety of his two nephews.
Maro said Wine went outside to check the welfare of his nephews and was confronted by the two victims, who threatened Wine and the children. She said that was when the shovel attack took place.
Maro also noted at least one of the victims in the case was extremely intoxicated and tested positive for drugs the night of the incident.
Maro asked the court to give Wine probation, saying the likelihood that he would be a repeat offender is minimal.
“Protecting the public is really not an issue with Mr. Wine. ... He spends time working and with his children and really nothing else,” she said.
Wine told the court he simply was concerned for his nephews and felt threatened by the two men.
“The first thing I could think of was my nephews because I love them like I love my own children,” he said. “I hope you can see the person I am, and this is not me. I don’t ever want to hurt anyone.”