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Construction site scuffle leads to judicial diversion
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A man accused of hitting his co-worker in the face with a drill bit has been granted probation after pleas for mercy from members of his church.
The defendant, Jeff Stephens, 51, was granted a two-year judicial diversion on the charge of aggravated assault. He must pay $100 plus court costs to the domestic violence shelter and can have his criminal record erased as long as he gets into no further trouble during his two years on probation. He could have faced three to six years in prison on the felony count.
The charges were brought against Stephens by Phil Keffer regarding an altercation which happened at a job site where he and the defendant were doing work. In his warrant against Stephens, Keffer said it was Stephens who became enraged when he was questioned about his work.
“He became upset about my asking him to work with us in remodeling housing in the West Riverside area,” Keffer said, noting that’s when Stephens attacked him with the drill. “I asked him about some studs that he had installed and he hit me in the face with a drill bit, causing my face to bleed.”
Stephens, however, contradicted Keffer’s claim in his request for a judicial diversion saying it was Keffer who was the aggressor.
“He became irate, screaming and pointing saying it was not finished the way the job superintendent had ordered it,” Stephens countered, noting an altercation then occurred in the confined environment.
While admitting to a pushing match, Stephens did not admit to striking Keffer in the face with the drill bit. His petition for judicial diversion was accompanied by letters from his church commending him on being a good person.