AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

JAMES T. WHITTEN, 55, pleaded guilty Sept. 21 to aggravated assault and battery and a misdemeanor count of possession meth as part of a plea agreement in which prosecutors will recommend an imposed three- to five-year prison sentence for the assault and a concurrent 180-day jail sentence for possession. The possession charge had been reduced from a felony. He also must pay restitution with his co-defendants. He can argue for less. District Judge John R. Perry revoked his bond pending sentencing. Whitten was one of five people arrested in May who were charged with conspiring to hold a man and beat him with a baseball bat — an altercation supposedly in retaliation for the victim’s treatment of other people in the past. The alleged victim told them that he was at his girlfriend’s house when Whitten, her ex-husband, showed up and demanded that he leave. He did, walking in front of Whitten down the stairs. The man told police that he heard what he thought was the sound of a metal bat hitting the concrete and feared that he was going to be assaulted. He tried to run, but fell on the ice, where two men in masks who had been waiting at the bottom of the stairs started hitting him with baseball bats. The man told police he curled up and covered his head with his hands and was struck several times. He started to scream and the men fled. During Whitten’s arrest, his cellphone was taken and searched. A card slot in the phone case had two jeweler’s bags of meth, one holding about 0.5 grams and the other 0.75 grams, according to court documents.

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