Crime

Assault charge held, threat charge tossed

David Guinn, 34, was bound over on charges of simple assault and harassment Wednesday after a preliminary hearing, but an attempt to add a third charge of terroristic threats was denied.

Guinn was charged on Nov. 19 after his father, a resident of Howard, accused him of drawing a knife on him during a confrontation. Guinn was taken into custody and bail was set at $25,000.

The District Attorney’s Office attempted to add a third charge of terroristic threats at the beginning of the hearing, arguing that the presence of the knife constituted the additional charge.

The court heard testimony by Guinn’s father, who testified that he was upset after Guinn and Guinn’s wife had come home after an evening of drinking. The father also said he had hurt his toe in an earlier incident, prompting him to call 911 for help.

Guinn mistakenly believed 911 had been called because of him, the father testified, and became increasingly upset and verbally aggressive. At one point, the father said he attempted to get Guinn out of the house, at which point Guinn reached for the hunting knife on his belt.

The father testified that when he saw Guinn reach for the knife, he grabbed Guinn by the throat and tried to knee him in the groin. Guinn then threw his father onto a chair and held the knife above his throat, allegedly saying “No one has the right to lay hands on me, not even my (expletive) father.”

After this, the father testified, Guinn left out a back door.

When cross examined, Guinn’s defense verified that up until the father had grabbed Guinn, the altercation had been strictly verbal, meaning first contact had come from the father. Defense also argued that at no point did Guinn verbally say he was going to kill or harm anyone with the knife, removing the basis for a terroristic threat charge.

District Judge Carmine Prestia agreed the terroristic threat charge was a stretch, but agreed with the commonwealth’s case for simple assault and harassment. He also denied a request for a bail modification.

The case now moves toward trial.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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