Man pleas guilty to misdemeanor assault

Published 10:49 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Clayton man pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Wednesday after a jury had been selected to try him for felony assault.

Melvin Jones, 39, was set to face trial for second-degree assault, a Class C Felony, but worked out a plea deal with prosecutors at the last minute to forgo the court session.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffery Moore, prosecutor on the case, called the plea deal “probably the best resolution possible for this case.”

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“It got our victim the justice he deserved,” Moore said.

Jones had been arrested for allegedly breaking the arm of 49-year-old Robert Earl Dubose in August 2017 after a dispute over Dubose’s nonpayment of Jones’s son, a minor.

“The biggest disputed fact was whether the victim (Dubose0 pulled a knife at the time he was hit by a baseball bat or soon after,” Moore said.

Moore said Dubose owed Jones’ son $200 for odd-job work the minor had done, but felt uncomfortable giving the money to Jones for fear he would “spend it on drugs.”

Instead of cash, Moore said Dubose decided to give the juvenile school supplies in an attempt to ensure the money went to something useful.

This led to a confrontation between the two men near Swindall Road, where Jones is said to have broken Dubose’s arm with the bat.

The trial was the only case left on the docket to be decided by jury.