Superior Court upholds convictions for assaults on two local Marines

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:10

    MILFORD - The state Superior Court recently upheld the convictions and sentences of Reginald and Jennifer Spearman. The Spearmans, who are siblings, were convicted of the crimes of Aggravated Assault and Burglary for their role in an incident that occurred in Delaware Township in the Birchwood Lake Community on Dec. 31, 2003. The victims in the incident were twin brothers who were serving in the Marines and were on leave visiting their family in Pike County. Both brothers suffered cuts during the attack from a knife-like instrument. One brother suffered a cut that extended from the corner of his mouth down onto his neck. The Spearmans were convicted after a jury trial in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas before President Judge Joseph Kameen. A third individual, Paul Grey, was also convicted for his role, for the crimes of Defiant Trespass and Criminal Mischief. The incident occurred at a residence where a New Year’s Eve party had occurred. The two Marines attended the party as did Jennifer and Reginald Spearman. Reginald Spearman and Paul Grey were thrown out of the party by the two brothers because of their behavior. Several witnesses, who also attended and testified during the trial, stated that shortly after Reginald Spearman and Paul Grey were thrown out, they returned to the residence with several other individuals who were armed with various weapons including firearms. This group burst into the front door of the residence, with one of the first people in the door being Reginald Spearman carrying a large pipe. During the attack and the corresponding confusion of the event, both brothers were cut but could not identify the exact type of instrument nor the actual person who did the cutting. One brother who was repeatedly slashed while being held down on the ground was also kicked while he was down by Jennifer Spearman. Witnesses testified that Jennifer Spearman left shortly after her brother was thrown out but returned with the group that invaded the home. The third individual charged, Paul Grey, remained outside the home with a baseball bat, according to witness testimony, where he repeatedly swung the bat into the railing of the front porch. Assistant District Attorney Bruce DeSarro who tried to case stated the two biggest obstacles in trying the case were, first, not being able to identify the exact person who engaged in the assaults, and second, trying to get the two Marines back to testify from Iraq where they had been deployed. During the delay of the case, an attorney for the Spearmans had attempted to get the case dismissed because of the difficulty in getting the two Marines back to testify. However, both Marines were able to return for the trial and testify. After the conviction, Reginald Spearman received a sentence of ten to twenty-five years and Jennifer Spearman received a sentence of eight to twenty-five years. The two had appealed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court claiming there was insufficient evidence for the conviction. The appeal was heard before a panel of the Superior Court in Philadelphia. First Assistant District Attorney, Raymond Tonkin, represented the District Attorney’s Office during the appeal before the appellate court in Philadelphia. As a result of the Superior Court decision, both Jennifer and Reginald Spearman will continue to serve their respective sentences in state prison.