CINCINNATI (AP) — Two ex-soldiers pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge in the beating of a homeless man sleeping under a Cincinnati bridge, while another ex-soldier and a fourth man convicted of felonious assault in the case await sentencing.
Former Army Spc. Travis Condor, 27, and former Army Spc. Matthew MacMurtrie, 23, who were based at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg at the time of the April 10, 2010 attack, were originally charged with felonious assault. They were allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault in a deal with prosecutors and were sentenced to 90 days in jail, with credit for time served.
Authorities said John Johnson was hit with a baseball bat and a pipe and suffered facial fractures, and that all four men had been drinking before the attack. One of the men suggested that they go out and “kick somebody’s butt,” police said. They apparently they decided to target a homeless person and went to Johnson’s encampment under the bridge, according to authorities.
Johnson has said he was asleep underneath tarps he had set up for a shelter when he heard angry voices telling him he was trespassing. He said that at first he thought they were police, but then the four men began cursing him, calling him a bum and beating him.
Johnson could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The other two men convicted in the case are former Army Pvt. Riley Feller, 25, who was based at Kentucky’s Fort Knox at the time, and Michael Hesson, 26, of Hamilton, north of Cincinnati. They have pleaded no contest to one count each of felonious assault in the case.
Messages were left Tuesday for the prosecutor and attorneys for all four men.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)