A Dearborn man was found guilty of third-degree assault after a trial in Platte County Associate Circuit Court.
Orville Dennis, 45, was convicted at trial on Friday after testimony of six witnesses involving an altercation at the Tank N’ Tummy convenience store in Northern Platte County.
Associate Circuit Court Judge Gary Witt sentenced Dennis to two years probation and ordered him to pay $4,207 in restitution to the victim. Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said he was pleased with the Court’s decision.
Zahnd said, “When someone is physically injured and requires medical attention due to a criminal act, the perpetrator must be held accountable. Although this was a misdemeanor offense, it was important to devote the resources of my office to see that justice was done.”
Zahnd’s office charged Dennis with assault after a cashier at the Tank N’ Tummy made a frantic 911 call on June 24, 2003. At trial, the cashier testified that she feared for the victim’s safety because Dennis was much larger than the victim. She said the victim tried repeatedly to escape, but Dennis continued to attack him.
The victim testified at trial that Dennis, who the victim knew by the nickname “Snake,” hit him repeatedly and tackled him to the ground. Testimony also indicated that Dennis tried to choke the victim while lying on top of him. The victim, who weighs approximately 150 pounds, said he was able to struggle out from underneath Dennis, who estimated his own weight at 450 pounds.
Trial testimony further revealed that the assault was motivated by allegations of theft that had surfaced regarding a worker at the convenience store. Dennis became enraged and went to the Tank N’ Tummy to confront the victim.
Zahnd said, “It is significant that this defendant was forced to accept culpability for his crime. The victim has incurred many medical bills as a result of this assault, and now the defendant will have to accept financial responsibility for the injuries he inflicted.”
The case was investigated by the Platte County Sheriff’s Department. It was tried by Assistant Prosecutor Myles Perry.