CLEARFIELD – A jury deliberated for approximately 45 minutes yesterday before finding a 23-year-old Houtzdale woman, Sabrina C. Gardner, not guilty of aggravated assault. She was found guilty of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
The charges stemmed from an incident at a birthday party on Aug. 18, 2012. After an argument, Gardner yelled at the victim who turned around. At that point, Gardner “whipped” a beer bottle at the victim, causing severe injuries to her left eyeball and mouth, according to testimony given yesterday.
When Gardner testified, she told jurors the victim’s brother and his girlfriend who was also her best friend had engaged in an argument. She watched her friend falling to the ground and approached to see if she was OK. The victim’s brother told her to go away and she also “had words” with the victim.
According to Gardner, she and the victim agreed to walk away from the couple. However, she admitted she “wasn’t thinking” when she threw the beer bottle at the victim. When asked, she said it wasn’t her intentions to hit the victim or to cause her any injuries.
Clearfield County President Judge Fredric Ammerman presided over the one-and-a-half-day trial. District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. prosecuted the case on behalf of the commonwealth. Gardner was represented by defense attorney Ron Collins.
Jurors entered deliberations shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday; court reconvened at approximately 10:37 a.m. when jurors had a question. Jurors requested that Ammerman read a particular subsection related to the aggravated assault charge. Then, at approximately 10:50 a.m., jurors returned with their verdict.
After the verdict, Collins asked Ammerman to re-establish supervised bail for Gardner with her being found not guilty of the aggravated assault charge. Collins also noted that Gardner has a small child and has been separated from the child for about one month due to her incarceration.
Shaw, however, pointed out that Gardner’s bail had been revoked, as she violated her probation with a drug violation. Ammerman indicated that he wasn’t lowering Gardner’s bail without further exploring the matter with the probation office.
With Gardner being found guilty of simple assault and recklessly endangering, she will face up to a maximum of two years of incarceration. The judge will decide if she serves her sentence at county or state prison. Gardner will also be required to pay full restitution to the victim, said Shaw.
When asked, Shaw said Gardner is currently incarcerated at the Clearfield County Jail. Additional drug-related charges, he said, were currently pending against Gardner.