Man gets time served for hitting friend with bat
By Joe Gorman
A man who pleaded guilty in December to hitting his friend in the head with a baseball bat while his friend was asleep was sentenced Wednesday to time served in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
But Michael Easton is still in prison on another matter.
Easton, 33, of South Heights Avenue, has served 104 days in the county jail on the felonious-assault charge.
But he is serving a two-year prison sentence handed down on three counts for failure to pay child support.
Judge Lou D’Apolito told Easton when he is done serving the prison sentence he must enter treatment for alcohol abuse.
Easton was arrested Oct. 20, 2017, in his home after he hit the man in the head while the man was sleeping on the couch.
Easton told the judge he was drunk at the time and had misinterpreted a text his friend had sent to his wife when he hit him with the bat.
Easton claimed he meant to just hit the couch with the bat to startle his friend and wake him up.
The man, however, was hit in the head.
The victim did not attend the sentencing hearing but sent an email to the court saying he forgave Easton and urged the judge to order him to get alcohol treatment.
Easton also apologized.
“I wish I never touched alcohol a day in my life,” Easton said.
Judge D’Apolito said he was impressed with the victim’s email and told Easton he should have sought help for his drinking problem before he hurt someone.
The judge said he wanted a sentence that would give Easton some punishment, which he received for his 104 days in jail, and something that would get him treatment.
“You had a problem with drinking and never did anything about it,” Judge D’Apolito said. “It’s not the system’s responsibility to do it alone.”
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum sentenced Easton in January on the child-support charges.
Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Burns said Easton received prison time in the case because he skipped his original sentencing date.