MOUNT VERNON — A prosecuting attorney is recommending a mid-range prison sentence for a Martinsburg man convicted of striking his girlfriend in the face with a handgun.

Writing in a sentencing memorandum, Assistant Knox County Prosecuting Attorney David Merrell has asked that Randy J. VanWinkle, 41, receive four years in prison when he is sentenced in Knox County Common Pleas Court Sept. 28.

VanWinkle was convicted of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; and domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor, in a June 26-28 jury trial. The felonious assault charge carries up to eight years in prison but does not carry a mandatory prison sentence requirement.

Attorney Morgan Giles, who represented VanWinkle at trial, has asked for a community control sentence, noting his client’s lack of a prior felony record.

VanWinkle was convicted of striking his live-in girlfriend in the mouth with a .45 caliber handgun while they were having an argument. The girlfriend lost three teeth and suffered long-term health issues as a result of the assault.

At trial, VanWinkle claimed he was holding the gun and his girlfriend deliberately struck her face against it. VanWinkle said the girlfriend threatened to shoot him, and he held out the gun to her to call her bluff.

In his sentencing memorandum, Giles writes that VanWinkle made a mistake in grabbing the gun during the argument. VanWinkle grabbed the gun “to diffuse a situation” and the girlfriend “ended up injured and Randy is a convicted felon,” Giles writes.

Giles’ memorandum includes several letters in support of VanWinkle, including two from his ex-wives.


Nick Sabo: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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