A 50-year-old Stateline man pleaded not guilty Monday to allegations that he knocked down and injured his 79-year-old neighbor, telling deputies he believed the alleged victim was a teenage burglar.
District Judge Michael Gibbons set an Aug. 27 trial date for Jeffrey Dale Spencer after the defendant’s attorney, William Routsis, said the trial could last two weeks over allegations he said were “highly contested.”
Spencer pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of abuse of an elderly person and two gross misdemeanor charges of abuse of an elderly person.
In the felony, Spencer is accused of “striking, hitting, pushing, shoving, and, or, using force on a person aged 60 or older.”
One gross misdemeanor charge accuses Spencer of abuse against the first victim’s 79-year-old twin brother by using a snow plow to spray, cover and/or shower the complainant with ice, snow and debris.
The third charge accuses Spencer of causing the victim’s wife and sister-in-law mental anguish by harming or threatening to harm her family by yelling at her husband and physically attacking her brother-in-law.
Routsis asked the trial date be set out because there were numerous witnesses to contact and hours of videotape to monitor.
“This is going to be a very highly contested case,” Routsis said.
He said Spencer works for the Ferrari racing team, and would have character witnesses from throughout the country.
Prosecutor Erik Levin asked for a speedy trial.
“We have elderly witnesses, and this has been very stressful for them. I would like to move this along. We don’t want to delay it any longer,” Levin said.
According to a sheriff’s report, deputies were called to Spencer’s Stateline residence on Charles Avenue at 8 p.m. Dec. 18, 2012, for a report of someone breaking into his truck.
When deputies arrived, they could see an elderly man lying on the icy road with his twin brother nearby, waving for help.
The man on the ground was unable to stand due to intense knee and back pain.
Paramedics took him to the hospital, and deputies went to talk with Spencer.
The injured man said he was photographing pictures of the snow berm along his brother’s fence when he could hear Spencer yelling at him from the upper deck of his home. He alleged that Spencer ran up from behind, struck his back and knocked him to the ground.
The victim’s twin brother heard his cries for help and stood next to his brother until deputies came to make sure he didn’t get hit by a vehicle.
According to deputies, Spencer said he could hear someone in his driveway and thought it was a burglar. He said he yelled for the person to identify himself, then ran after him when he refused to identify himself. He said he pushed the man to the ground.
Spencer reportedly told the deputy he thought the alleged victim was a teenager because he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
The man denied he was wearing a hood, and said he was taking pictures of his brother’s fence from the street in regards to an ongoing dispute between the neighbors.
Gibbons allowed Spencer to remain out on bail under the condition that he have no contact with his neighbors.