A former Plymouth man pleaded guilty Monday to assaulting the estranged husband of the woman he had been seeing.
Tiffin resident Matthew A. Gayheart, 29, was convicted of an amended charge of aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony. He originally was indicted on felonious assault, a second-degree felony.
Gayheart, who has a prior felony conviction, faces six to 18 months in prison when he is sentenced July 31.
Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper said the state is aware of the victim's wishes in the case and has spoken to the investigating officers about the plea deal.
The Willard Police Department investigated the Sept. 2 assault complaint on Park Street. The victim, who hadn't been living there, came to the residence.
"The defendant was present. The (victim's) wife was there. There were two other people in the home," Kasper said. "The victim told the defendant to leave. ... There were angry words exchanged."
The assault happened after the man reportedly told Gayheart to leave several times.
"The defendant punched the victim in the face and he ran out of the house," Kasper said.
Huron County Public Defender David Longo said Gayheart hit the victim with a "martial arts-style chop." He also said Gayheart, who had been "involved" with the man's wife, earlier had gone to the computer room to avoid a confrontation.
"Mr. Gayheart believed he was defending himself," Longo said. "He agrees he hit him. ... He did cause serious physical harm.
"The victim's BAC (blood alcohol content level) was 2 1/2 times the legal limit," Longo added. "He wasn't returning home from work."
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." Authorities determined the man suffered a fractured eye socket.
An ambulance transported the victim to Mercy Willard Hospital. He later went to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.
"He was treated there and kept overnight," Kasper said.
During Gayheart's arraignment in late April, assistant public defender T. Douglas Clifford said the victim declined to have surgery because he didn't want to miss work.
At Monday's hearing, Gayheart wore a black sling on his right arm. The defendant and his attorney said a truck hit him before his arrest and the injury severed the muscles in his shoulder.
"I've been in serious pain," said Gayheart, who has had difficulty getting a medical appointment or a surgery scheduled.
Judge Jim Conway reduced the defendant's bond from $20,000 to $5,000 with a 10-percent provision. The judge stressed to Gayheart that he's prohibited from having any association with the victim if he posts bail.