A Pulaski man told police he intended to kill his ex-girlfriend when he attacked her with a five-pound sledgehammer in 2012, fracturing her skull and leaving her with permanent impairments.
According to Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor, George Marvin Viers Jr. said he covered the hammer with foam pipe insulation and electrical tape before attacking Melissa Horton in order to “keep the blood down.”
Viers pleaded no contest in Pulaski County Circuit Court Thursday to three felony charges stemming from the Jan. 24, 2012 incident at Horton’s home on Sixth Street SW. A no contest, or nolo contendere, plea means Viers didn’t admit guilt, but acknowledged prosecution evidence would be sufficient for a finding of guilt.
Sentencing was postponed until Dec. 20 at 9:30 a.m. so that a background report, requested by the defense, can be compiled on Viers.
Viers was convicted of aggravated malicious wounding, breaking and entering with intent to commit murder and violation of a protective order. He faces a total of 26 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
In summarizing evidence in the case, Fleenor said Horton obtained a protective order against Viers, from whom she was estranged, in July 2011. The order gave Horton possession of the home she and Viers, and their daughter, shared on Sixth Street.
At the time of the incident, Pulaski police said they found Horton around 8:30 a.m., suffering from a wound to the head, after dispatchers received numerous calls of a female yelling for help.
Fleenor said Horton, who was “bleeding profusely” told police she was attacked when she returned to her house from taking her daughter to the school bus stop. She indicated Viers came out of the bedroom and started striking her in the head four to eight times with the sledgehammer.
Horton sustained “multiple” skull fractures, according to Fleenor. In order to prove the aggravating factor of the malicious wounding, Fleenor called neurologist Dr. Jill Kramer to testify to the lasting effects Horton has as a result of her injuries.
Kramer said Horton has memory issues, muscle spasms in her neck and back and “persistent difficulty putting together thoughts” and words. Considering the amount of time that has passed since the attack, she said Horton’s “prognosis for continued improvement is very limited, even with ongoing treatment.”
During interrogation by Pulaski police, Fleenor said Viers admitted having knowledge of the protective order. Viers told them he parked at the Maple Shade Plaza that morning, then walked five or six blocks to Horton’s house, entering the residence while Horton was at the bus stop.
Viers told police he hid the hammer under his coat while walking to the house. After fleeing the scene, he discared it under a bridge, where police recovered it.
When police asked Viers his intent that day, Fleenor said, “He responded, ‘Um, I wanted to kill her.’”
Viers is scheduled to be back in circuit court Oct. 25 on a charge of assault and battery upon a family member in connection with a July 6, 2011 incident. Viers appealed the case from Pulaski County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, according to court records.