Plea agreements have been reached in the case of a man stabbed outside the VFW last August with both those charged in the attack avoiding additional jail time.
Jack Redmon, 44, entered a best-interest plea to the charge of aggravated assault and was given a three-year sentence, but was released on 182 days time served. Redmon was released in February when he was able to make bond after serving six months in jail.
Prosecutors say he was the man who stabbed victim Mike Hale in front of the VFW last August after the two had exchanged words for several days. Redmon says he only took the plea because his case would have been extended another 14 or 16 months if he didn’t.
“If they would have left my case on June 29 like it was originally scheduled, I would have never settled,” said Redmon. “They never had anything on me. Look at their only witness. He kept changing his story on the stand,” he said referring to Mike Hale.
Brooke Hale, 33, wife of victim Mike Hale, entered a best-interest plea to the charge of facilitation of aggravated assault and was placed on probation for two years and released on 40 days time served.
She was granted a judicial diversion by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley, meaning she can have her criminal record erased once her probation is complete. Prosecutors say Mrs. Hale swung a motorcycle helmet at her husband during the attack and was encouraging the crime that led to her husband being stabbed in the chest and midsection.
Mrs. Hale requested the diversion so she could keep her nursing license, which a felony conviction would have caused her to lose. Judge Stanley said he had no choice but to grant the diversion given her lack of prior criminal record, even though Mrs. Hale should have known better than to put herself in such a situation.
“Any adult should know better than to behave in this manner,” Judge Stanley told her in accepting her diversion request.
Along with giving the diversion, Judge Stanley lifted the stay-away order between the Hales, something the victim had been wanting for a long time.
“I want to reconcile with my wife,” Mr. Hale said during an interview with the Southern Standard last month, during which he encouraged prosecutors to drop the charges against his wife and give Redmon the minimum. “The whole thing has gotten out of hand. It’s turned into a circus. I just want to go back to being Mike Hale, the plumber.”
Hale noted he was being forced by prosecutors to stick to the story that implicated his wife in the attack, even though he says that is not the way it happened.
Hale, who was sitting in the back row of the court gallery instead of the prosecutor’s table as is customary for victims, got his wish when the plea agreements were announced Wednesday. The three-year sentence given to Redmon was the minimum for felony assault. Unlike Mrs. Hale, however, Redmon’s case will go down as a felony on his record. Redmon’s one requirement, other than keeping the terms of his probation, is to stay away from the victim.
Hale has said he has no ill will toward Redmon, and Redmon said Thursday he has the same feelings.
“I don’t hold anything against him,” said Redmon. “We were both being dumb.”
In accepting the pleas Wednesday morning, Judge Stanley said he understood what had prompted the settlements.
“The victim is essentially recanting his story,” Stanley declared in allowing the best-interest pleas to be entered.