What constitutes a deadly weapon?
A case involving assault with a deadly weapon has been continued until Tuesday by District Court Judge Tod Young after he questioned whether a “piece of furniture” was really a weapon.
James Corbitt McNeill, 41, was arrested on Nov. 19, 2017, after dropping an injured woman off at a hospital and fleeing the scene.
The victim suffered significant injuries across her entire body. She was bleeding profusely from her mouth, nose and forehead, with a substantial gash on her left temple.
The gash was an avulsion type injury 1.5 inches in length. An avulsion is an injury in which a body structure is forcibly detached or torn away, most commonly found in vehicle crashes.
Her eyes were so bruised and swollen she was unable to open them, and she had a large bruise across one hip.
Her legs and feet were covered in blood, which was later found to be from her facial injuries.
After taking X-rays it was determined she had suffered multiple fractures in her face, head, skull and ribs, according to the police report.
Due to her severe injuries she was transferred to Renown.
The victim said she couldn’t remember what had happened during the assault, or how she got to the hospital. She said the last thing she could remember was watching television when McNeill attacked her.
The victim said there had been no physical abuse up until that point, and they had been in a relationship for two years.
McNeill denied hitting the victim in the head with his dumbbell, and he said the victim was intoxicated during their altercation. When they were “ground wrestling,” she may have hit her head on the dumbbell, he claimed.
After dropping the victim off at the hospital, he fled the scene, and hospital staff called in a potential assault.
Deputies found McNeill outside of his vehicle in a parking lot nearby, and when they approached, he got in his car and fled. He attempted to evade police for some time, before they finally cornered him in the Coffee on Main parking lot and he was taken into custody.
McNeill, who is in custody, was prepared to admit to the charge, but Young questioned whether a piece of furniture can be considered a deadly weapon.
“If I pushed you out a window 14 floors up and you hit the ground, the ground does not constitute a deadly weapon,” Young said on May 8.