Woman testifies man beat her repeatedly

Staff photos / Ed Runyan ABOVE: Sammy Anderson Jr., right, listens to testimony Tuesday alongside his attorney, Mark Lavelle.

YOUNGSTOWN — Three Youngstown police officers, a hospital nurse practitioner and an emergency medical technician testified Tuesday to the extent of the injuries a woman suffered June 15, 2023, and Sept. 14, 2023.

All five people testified during the felonious assault trial of the woman’s boyfriend, Sammy F. Anderson Jr., 28, that when they encountered the woman on those two dates, she had serious injuries to her face and had other injuries. Many of the witnesses said the woman told them her boyfriend had assaulted her.

In opening statements in the trial before Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, Assistant Prosecutor Caitlyn Andrews said Anderson struck the alleged victim many times June 15 — “in her face, in her head, and in her ribs” after he “just started wailing on her” while he was driving her car down the street and she was in the passenger seat.

Andrews said the second episode was similar to the first. She and Anderson were in the car, and he started assaulting her, Andrews said. This time, however, he videotaped her in a house, “mocking her” and “puts his foot right in (her) face,” Andrews said.

The alleged victim “loves the defendant. In good times, she loves him. When they argue, she loves him. When he kicks her, she loves him. When he punches her, she loves him. When he breaks multiple bones in her face, she loves him. And when he takes a gun and pistol whips her in the head, she still loves him,” Andrews said.

The defense, meanwhile, told the jury during opening statements that Anderson and his girlfriend “relished in their bizarre relationship,” and that she became angry when she learned Anderson was talking to another woman. Defense attorney Mark Lavelle said the first assault Anderson is alleged to have committed was a “fight between the two women that caused the injuries.”

Lavelle also said prosecutors have said the alleged victim was “reluctant” to testify. “My term would be self preservation because she does not want to get tripped up in a lie in the events which actually did occur.”

The alleged victim acknowledged when she testified Tuesday that the judge issued a material witness warrant for her arrest Monday when she failed to appear Monday to testify. The trial resumes today.

The alleged victim was the last witness of the day Tuesday, testifying that Anderson was the person who assaulted her June 15 and Sept. 14, describing nearly everything the way prosecutors had described the crimes. During her testimony, she also pointed to Anderson in the courtroom and said he was the person who assaulted her.

“The person who assaulted you on June 15, who was that?” Andrews asked the woman.

“Sammy Anderson,” she said.

“After he assaulted you that night, did you get back together?” Andrews asked.


“Why did you get back together?” Andrews asked.


“Did he apologize to you for what he did?” Andrews asked.


“Did he tell you he was never going to do it again?” Andrews asked.


“Did you believe that he was never going to do it again?” Andrews asked.

“No.” The woman said the fighting calmed down after that until the September incident. They went to a house on the East Side. When he came out, “We started fighting.”

When asked to explain, she said, “It was like he was a different person.” She said they were “arguing, arguing, arguing, and then he started hitting me while we were in the car.”

She said he hit her in her side and in her face and arms. She said he hit her between five and 10 times. He took her to a house on Evergreen Avenue on the South Side and dragged her out of the car, took her inside and threw her on the bathroom floor.

“He was telling me to take a shower. I was telling him ‘I want to go home and take a shower.’ I didn’t have any clothes.” He hit her and kicked her while she was on the floor. Then he took her outside and put her in the back seat of the car.

While she was in the back of the car, he “hit me with a hard object. I don’t know what it was.” Her face was “bleeding very bad,” she said.

Andrews asked her if Anderson had a gun in that assault, and she answered he did not, which apparently was unexpected because Andrews said in opening statements Anderson pistol whipped her. One of Anderson’s charges and two specifications in his indictment allege that Anderson had a gun in the September assault, but the alleged victim denied it during her testimony.

Earlier Tuesday, Heather Bayless, a nurse practitioner at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, testified that she treated the alleged victim at the hospital after the September assault and that the alleged victim said she was “assaulted by her boyfriend.”

She described the woman’s injuries as being “grossly swollen on the entire left side of her face” and having a laceration on her left cheek, a nose bleed, pain in her ribs, pain in her elbow. She said she had a lot of blood on her clothing.

A CAT scan of her head was negative for a brain bleed or skull fracture, but X-rays showed fracture of her cheek bone, nose and jaw. Bayless said the woman’s injuries were consistent with the type of assault the woman told Bayless she had experienced.

Under cross examination by Lavelle, Bayless confirmed that the alleged victim told another member of the hospital staff that she drank a “fifth of alcohol a day” at the time. But Bayless said the woman did not appear to be intoxicated when she treated her.

Another witness was Youngstown Patrolman Gregory Tackett, who described several locations he went Sept. 14 trying to locate the alleged victim after her sister called police to say that her sister was getting beaten.

Later Tackett learned her car was at an East Side store and there was blood inside it. He went to the alleged victim’s house and found her.

“On her left eye, she had a very large gash, which appeared she was hit with something very hard,” he said. “And she had bruises all around her body.” He said the woman told him Anderson caused the injuries by assaulting her.

Have an interesting story? Email Ed Runyan at erunyan@vindy.com


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