Felonious assault defendant gets trial date

Suspect accused of breaking eye socket of local resident.
Cary Ashby
May 3, 2013

A former Plymouth man pleaded innocent Monday to breaking the eye socket of a Willard man.

Matthew A. Gayheart, 29, of Tiffin, is charged with felonious assault. The Willard Police Department investigated the Sept. 2 assault complaint on Park Street.

Gayheart shook his head in apparent disagreement at Monday's arraignment as Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff recited the allegations to Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

Two officers responded to Park Street, where they said they found the 41-year-old victim with "blood running from his nose and his left eye."

"This was a one-strike situation," Huron County Chief Assistant Public Defender T. Douglas Clifford said Monday.

Clifford also told the judge the suspected assault didn't involve any weapons or an "ongoing altercation."

An ambulance transported the victim to Mercy Willard Hospital. Some of his relatives later reported he went to Mercy St. Vincent with a broken eye socket. At Monday's hearing, Clifford said the man declined to have surgery because he didn't want to miss work.

The court scheduled a June 25 trial and Gayheart's bond at $20,000. He is prohibited from having any association with the victim.