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North Platte man sentenced to 3-6 years for assaultTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Emmett S. Wood

In Lincoln County District Court Monday, Emmett Wood was sentenced to 3-6 years in the state penitentiary for second degree assault – hitting another man in the head with a hammer.

Wood , 41, was convicted April 10 and in exchange for his no-contest plea, the county dismissed a second felony charge against him.

Wood was arrested Jan 24, 2016. Prosecutors say Wood grabbed a hammer and hit the man on the side of the head. A third individual reportedly kept Wood from a more prolonged assault on the victim, a 21-year-old man.

In court, Deputy Lincoln County Attorney Angela Franz asked for prison time because of the seriousness of the crime.

On the other hand, Defense Attorney Chawnta Durham asked for probation, citing doctors’ reports that Wood needs long term treatment for mental and medical issues.

She said Wood has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and has been working diligently to get his medication adjusted and bring his mental health problems “under control,” and a long-term sentence might make things worse.

Wood spoke on his own behalf.

“At that time, to be honest with you, I had no idea what was going on,” he said. “I have lost memory on several occasions. For the past year and a half, I have not been medically right. I feel sorry for the kid that got hurt. He was like a son to me.”

Wood expressed remorse for what he’d done.

He said he would like to have the opportunity to be on probation and prove himself, and looks forward to the day when he can apologize to the victim, face to face.

Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch said a pre-sentence investigation does not recommend probation.

“I understand your health issues, but the court deals with them on almost a daily basis,” he told Wood. “We have many people coming through here with mental health issues. Some of them deal with them better than others.”

Birch cited Wood’s lengthy history of “explosive behavior and assaults on a number of people in a number of different situations.”

“You even had another assault charge after this happened,” he said. “And, this was a serious assault – he could have been maimed for life. You hit him in the head with a hammer and that could cause a lot of injuries and frankly I can understand why the victim may not want to shake your hand.”

Birch said Wood’s’ previous convictions for assaults, false imprisonment and use of a deadly weapon warrant a stiff penalty.

“Under your circumstances, anything less than a period of incarceration would depreciate the seriousness of the crime,” he said as he issued the prison sentence. He gave Wood credit for 10 days served in jail.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/11/2017
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