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Knode gets 12 months for assault

Co-defendants receive minimal sentences in agreements with prosecution

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A Pulaski man received a 12-month jail sentence Tuesday for an August assault at Meadowview Apartments, while his co-defendants, who did not contest the prosecution’s evidence, have only days to serve on their assault convictions.

“If ever there was a time for a 12-month sentence, this is it,” Pulaski County General District Court Judge Glennwood Lookabill said before imposing the maximum sentence on 37-year-old Kristopher Knode. He said he has no doubt Knode assaulted Michael Jones Aug. 13 because of the consistency of testimony among the prosecution’s witnesses.

Defense attorney Matthew Roberts appealed the case to circuit court following the trial. Knode was allowed to remain free on his existing $1,500 secured bond pending the outcome of the appeal.

Prior to Tuesday’s trial, Knode’s three co-defendants entered into agreements with the prosecution whereby they pleaded not guilty to their charges, but stipulated the prosecution had enough evidence for a finding of guilt. All three defendants were charged with misdemeanor assault and one defendant, Thomas Clyde Turpin, 22, of Dublin, also was facing a charge of felony malicious wounding.

Under the agreement, Turpin’s felony was reduced to misdemeanor assault. On the original assault, Turpin was sentenced to 12 months in jail with 10 months suspended and credit for time served upon arrest.

Assistant Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith said Turpin served all but 11 days of the sentence. Judge Lookabill agreed to allow Turpin, who is employed, to serve the remaining days on weekends.

Turpin received a suspended 12-month sentence on the assault reduced from a felony.

Matthew Edwards, 19, of Dublin, was sentenced to 12 months in jail with all but 10 days suspended and his 18-year-old brother, Michael, received a suspended 10-day sentence.

All three defendants were ordered to be of good behavior for 12 months and to stay away from the assault victim and Meadowview Apartments.

Jones testified in Knode’s trial that he was visiting with his sister at Meadowview Aug. 13 when he was attacked by a group of people. He said he was talking with Knode when someone hit him from behind, then tackled him and people started punching and kicking him, mainly in the head.

Jones said he wasn’t able to identify anyone who hit him. He was treated at LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski, then released.

His girlfriend testified she was in the car waiting for Jones to return with his son when the group of people “jumped” Jones and started hitting and kicking him. She said Knode, who was wearing boots, was kicking Jones in the forehead and Turpin hit Jones with a skateboard.

Jones’ sister and a 16-year-old juvenile supported the girlfriend’s account of the incident.

Knode’s witnesses were his co-defendants, Michael Edwards and Turpin, both who identified Knode as a friend of their fathers. They both insisted Knode wasn’t involved in the fight, but a lot of other people were.

Knode at first testified he was seated in a car when the fight started, but he got out when it was over because a woman slapped him in the face for not trying to break up the fight. On cross-examination by the prosecution, he testified he got into the backseat of the car when the fight broke out because he didn’t want to get involved or get in trouble, then said on re-direct from Roberts that he was in the car talking to Jones when the fight started.

Prior to sentencing, Griffith noted that Knode has prior felony convictions involving firearms and controlled substances. He also pointed out that the fight took place in front of Jones’ son and the other juvenile. There was no testimony as to the age of Jones’ son.

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