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Woman found guilty of slashing neighbor’s face

Chantel L. Crowder reacts after she learned a jury had found her not guilty of felonious assault in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Thursday. The jury did find her guilty of the lesser charge of aggravated assault. Staff photo / Ed Runyan

YOUNGSTOWN — Chantel L. Crowder, 31, cried Thursday as Judge Anthony Donofrio read a not guilty verdict to felonious assault.

Moments later, though, she learned the jury had found her guilty of aggravated assault.

The difference means Crowder, of Tyrell Street, faces up to 18 months in prison — instead of up to eight years. She will be sentenced later, after authorities investigate her background.

The difference in the two charges is that the felonious assault accused Crowder of knowingly causing physical harm to Alexia Cathey, 27.

Aggravated assault is an accusation that Crowder slashed Cathey “while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage,” either of which was “brought on by serious provocation” by Cathey that was sufficient to provoke Crowder to use deadly force.

Crowder was charged after police said she slashed Cathey’s face with a knife at the Valley View apartments on Tyrell Street on Sept. 2, 2018. Both women lived in the complex.

Cathey sat in court as the verdicts were read. She had a noticeable scar that runs vertically down her face from her hairline to her jaw. The wound required plastic surgery, said Martin Hume, assistant county prosecutor.

The jury delibered less than an hour before reaching its verdict following a two-day trial. The victim declined to comment afterward.

Youngstown police said the slashing occurred at the end of an argument that began with Crowder approaching a neighbor of Cathey’s over a missing cellphone that belonged to Crowder’s son.

Cathey told police she was at her neighbor’s apartment when Crowder knocked on the door and accused the neighbor’s daughter of taking Crowder’s son’s phone. Crowder was then forced out of the apartment.

Additional confrontations took place involving several people, including Crowder, Cathey and Crowder’s mother, police said. At one point, Crowder alleged, Cathey reached for a knife while fighting with Crowder’s mother.

Finally as the victim and her neighbor walked down the hallway of the apartment building, Crowder reached over the banister and slashed Cathey’s face, Cathey’s neighbor told police.

Cathey said she didn’t realize at first she had been cut or what hit her face, but the neighbor told her, then drove her to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. Police found the knife in a kitchen drawer.

Crowder alleged she stabbed Cathey in self defense, Hume said.

erunyan@tribtoday.com