A 32-year-old Boardman man will be back in court Aug. 15 to learn how much time he will spend in prison for beating two men with a shovel.
Russell W. Wine of Melrose Avenue was set to go on trial this week before Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on two counts of felonious assault. Wine, on the morning of his scheduled trial date, decided to enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors to reduced charges.
Under the plea agreement, the felonious-assault charges will be reduced to two counts of aggravated assault, fourth-degree felonies. Wine could be sentenced to as much as three years in prison on the charges.
Police said Wine walked over to a neighbor’s yard, where two men sitting on the front-porch steps were drinking beer in September 2010.
According to police reports, Wine told officers that 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 two victims have recovered from their injuries. One of the men appeared in court for the plea hearing, but did not stay and did not make a statement.
Jennifer McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, said a careful review of the case led prosecutors to decide on the plea agreement.
“Considering everything in the case, the actions of the victims and their level of intoxication that night, I believe aggravated assault is appropriate,” McLaughlin told the court.
Neither Wine nor his attorney, Lynn Maro, made a statement during the plea hearing.