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EL man gets 7 years in prison for ‘vicious beating’ of friend

LISBON — Following a two-day trial in Common Pleas Court, a jury on Tuesday found Lucas Sims guilty of felonious assault and aggravated menacing in the “vicious beating” of Charlie Lewis.

Sims, 34, Thompson Avenue, East Liverpool, was immediately sentenced to seven years in prison by Judge Scott Washam.

During closing arguments, Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones described the beating Lewis had endured, talking about how Sims broke Lewis’ nose, broke his rib and punctured a lung on Oct. 21, 2018.

Jones additionally reminded the jury about the testimony of the three people involved, Sims, Lewis and Sims’ girlfriend, Linda McKinnon. According to Jones, this was not a simple fight between two friends as Sims would suggest, it was something involving Sims going into a jealous rage after Lewis “playfully smacked McKinnon’s butt” while declining her offer to engage in sex. There had even been a suggestion by Sims of a three-way sexual encounter with their friend Lewis, who declined the offer.

Jones said Sims had admitted to the investigating East Liverpool police officer, Captain Darin Morgan, that he was in the hallway watching what was happening in the bedroom.

“He was testing his girlfriend,” Jones said, adding if Sims was really concerned about her he would not have waited for bad things to happen before rushing into the room and hitting Lewis three times in the head and then landing the blows that broke his rib.

Defense attorney James Wise also talked about the differences in the stories of the three people, noting Lewis had testified everyone was drinking, but the others claimed only Lewis was drinking. Wise also questioned why Lewis even went into the bedroom with McKinnon or smacked her butt if he was not interested.

Wise said Sims had testified, “I was watching and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing” and when he heard Linda McKinnon say ‘stop and get off,’ that’s when the confrontation occurred.”

But Jones had said whether or not Lewis went into the bedroom was irrelevant. While Jones said she does not want to say it is ever fine to strike a woman, what happened between McKinnon and Lewis was much different that what Sims did to Lewis.

“He wants you to believe there is some reason to justify or explain why (he beat him),” Jones said. “There is nothing to explain that vicious beating.”

As further evidence of how badly injured Lewis was, Jones pointed out Morgan went to the station and brought the recording equipment to take Lewis’ statement immediately in the hospital, in case he was not able to provide one later. Additionally, Jones said Lewis’ mother, Cheryl Green, went later to Sims’ home to get her son’s phone, which he had tried to use to dial 911 knowing he needed medical attention. The phone was smashed, which reportedly happened when Sims tried to stop him calling for help.

Additionally, Jones pointed out a couple days after the fight, Sims appeared not to have any injuries.

Both attorneys agreed Sims was guilty of the aggravated menacing charge, which happened about six weeks after the beating when Sims threatened to kill Lewis.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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