Man pleads guilty, gets prison in attack on ex-girlfriend

September 11, 2017
Terry L. Newton Jr. leaves the Washington County Courthouse, accompanied by sheriff’s deputies, after a court appearance last month. - Barbara S. Miller/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

A Donora man was sentenced Monday to 6 to 12 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the beating last year of his ex-girlfriend in a Charleroi home.

Terry L. Newton Jr., 28, declined to address those present as he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and flight to avoid apprehension before Washington County Judge Michael J. Lucas.

Charleroi Regional police said Newton beat Raven Randall, now 25, unconscious before she was flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital in the early morning of Aug. 17, 2016, with injuries including a punctured liver.

“The commonwealth is satisfied with the plea agreement reached with Mr. Newton. The evidence shows that he committed a violent act by kicking his victim down a flight of stairs onto a concrete floor,” said First Assistant District Attorney Dennis Paluso. “After she awoke from the fall, she was struck with an object believed to be a chest freezer.”

Adopting the recommendations of a plea deal Newton’s attorney reached with prosecutors, Lucas ordered Newton to serve 1 to 2 years in prison on a charge of flight to avoid apprehension, concurrently with his 6- to 12-year sentence on the aggravated assault charge. Newton received credit for time served in jail since he was arrested following the assault.

Charleroi Regional police Officer Michael Leasure wrote in court papers he arrived at 1022 Fallowfield Ave. shortly before 3 a.m. to find Raven Randall’s sister, Krystal Randall, in front of the house, screaming, “He is inside and he is killing her.” Newton reportedly ran from the back door and was caught in the 1000 block of Railroad Way.

Another officer who had responded to the house remained with the victim and called for an ambulance.

“The Charleroi police and Mon Valley EMS provided prompt medical care to the victim, who had lost a significant amount of blood on her basement floor,” Paluso said.

The victim was transported to Rostraver by ambulance and then flown to a Pittsburgh hospital.

In addition to the blood on the floor, Leasure said he saw blood on a white chest freezer and dehumidifier.

Krystal Randall reportedly told police Newton had struck her sister with the freezer when she refused to give him a cigarette.

Newton pleaded guilty the day jury selection for his trial was set to begin on charges that included attempted homicide.

Newton’s attorney, Gary Graminski, said Newton “has always maintained that he did not do this to her, that he did not injure her.” But Graminski said he had concerns with how jurors would weigh “conflicting information,” and said his client reluctantly took the plea agreement instead of taking his chances on a trial on charges carrying a maximum sentence that could have meant spending the rest of his life in prison, if convicted.

“It was a much safer route,” Graminski said.

The case was the most recent in Newton’s history of encounters with law enforcement.

In 2014, Charleroi police charged Newton with aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing and slashing a man outside a bar in Charleroi. Prosecutors later dropped the charge when the victim declined to testify or pursue the case, according to court records.

Later that year, he was accused of shooting a man in the leg during a fight in a Monessen bar. Attempted homicide and other charges were subsequently withdrawn, court records show.

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