- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A California man has been sentenced to serve six months in jail from his guilty plea to second-degree assault on allegations he choked a 13-year-old boy and shoved him by the throat into a cabinet.
St. Mary’s grand jurors also had charged Gary John Weber Jr., 35, with child abuse from the May 2011 incident at his residence.
At a sentencing hearing last week, St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Michael J. Stamm noted that county prosecutors recently shelved another second-degree assault charge against Weber from court papers alleging he slapped a 6-year-old girl in the face in January 2011, knocking her to the floor.
When police responded to the later incident, involving the teenager, the boy said Weber “saw him near his drinking cup and became very angry because he thought the victim was putting something in the drink,” according to a statement of probable cause filed by St. Mary’s sheriff’s Cpl. David Corcoran.
A. Shane Mattingly, Weber’s lawyer, said during the June 6 sentencing hearing that his client was concerned about lamp oil being put in his drinking water, but that no injuries arose from the “laying of the hands” on the child.
Mattingly said that Weber, an honorably discharged Marine, experienced a “horrific upbringing” and is participating in counseling.
Weber said he did have an “extremely strict” upbringing, and added, “I cannot do that with children. You’ve got to talk more with them.”
Weber also said, “All the stress, I can’t let that get into my personal life. I didn’t want to be like my parents, my stepfather and my mother.”
The judge said earlier in the proceeding that police found scratches on the boy’s throat.
“There’s a line that is drawn. You don’t cause injury to a child,” Stamm said after Weber concluded his comments. “Not once did you apologize,” the judge said.
The judge sentenced Weber to 18 months in jail, suspended to the six-month term with work-release privileges on the condition that Weber receive mental health counseling and have no unlawful contact with children during two years of supervised probation.
St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R) said at the onset of the hearing that the case’s prosecutor wanted Weber to receive “a little time in incarceration” for the offense.