Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Jury convicts man who left another unconscious with a brain bleed
At the conclusion of a one-day trial in Muskingum County Common Pleas Court, jurors convicted 50-year-old Chad Chapman of felonious assault for the brutal attack of another man.
In September, a nearby neighbor heard fighting sounds coming from Chapman’s home on Spruce Street in Zanesville and called 911.
Earlier that evening, a family friend stopped to visit Chapman and share some drinks. When that friend took the last beer from the refrigerator, Chapman became outraged and began striking him, the victim testified at trial.
Chapman continued to attack the man as he tried to escape, beating him from the backyard to the front yard until the alert neighbor called 911 when the victim took a hard fall to the ground as he tried to get in his car, according to the neighbor’s testimony during trial. The neighbor told jurors that the victim did not fight back.
The victim was taken by ambulance to Genesis Hospital with a brain bleed and bruising and cuts all over his body.
Chapman was unharmed.
Another witness, a friend of the victim’s, testified that he went looking for the victim after his mother expressed concern that he had not returned home with her car and did not respond to phone calls.
The friend went to Chapman’s house on Spruce Street the following day and testified that Chapman returned the victim’s phone, wallet and keys to him.
Chapman proudly informed the friend that he had beaten the victim “within an inch of his life” on the street. Further, Chapman told the witness that the victim could be found at the hospital.
Investigating officer Derek Bragg of the Zanesville Police Department told the jury about the injuries he witnessed, the photographs he took, and those with whom he spoke. Chapman told Bragg that evening that the victim was drunk and had fallen into the street. Bragg was unconvinced by that story and followed up at the hospital due to the seriousness of the victim’s injuries.
Chapman took the stand to tell his version of events. Under questioning by defense attorney Kristopher Hill, Chapman claimed he acted in self-defense in his own home and claimed that the victim was at fault. Hill later argued that the victim “started a fight, and lost,” and that “actions have consequences.”
Assistant Prosecutor John Litle who handled the case for the State pointed out to the jury that where a person is seriously injured, perpetrators always use one of three defenses. First, they try to claim that nothing happened. Chapman attempted that defense with Patrolman Bragg, first. When it turned out there was a witness, Chapman was only left with two alternatives — “It wasn’t me,” and “self-defense.”
Litle argued that, knowing he could not claim that he wasn’t there, Chapman opted to try making up a story about self-defense.
The jury concluded that Chapman committed the assault, and found beyond a reasonable doubt that his actions were not self-defense. Chapman faces the consequences for his actions at a later date, with a maximum possible sentence of eight to 12 years.
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