Estep rejects plea bargain

Published 9:47 am Thursday, April 7, 2011

A man charged with assaulting his small child was in Common Pleas Court Wednesday.

William Estep, 22, of 102 N. Jones St., Proctorville, appeared before Judge Charles Cooper for his last pretrial hearing before his April 25 and 26 trial.

Estep is accused of throwing his 2-year-old son against a wall where the boy struck his head against a large wooden portion of the wall. He faces second-degree felonious assault, third-degree tampering with evidence and second-degree endangering children.

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The man’s defense attorney, Mike Gleichauf, told the court that he had presented Estep with a plea bargain from the prosecution and Estep had declined it.

The plea bargain offered to Estep was that in exchange for pleading guilty to the charges, Estep would be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Gleichauf had told Estep that if his case goes to trial and he is found guilty on all three charges, he could be sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison.

“I just wanted to have this on the record that he had declined that offer,” he said.

Cooper explained, however, that though the charges carry with them a combined total of up to 21 years in prison if Estep is convicted, sentences for two of those charges — felonious assault and endangering children — might be served concurrently, which would mean less prison time.

Whether to run the sentences concurrently or consecutively would be decided if and when he is convicted, Cooper said.

Assistant Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said after the hearing there is a good chance that if convicted, Estep will be sentenced to a total of 13 years rather than 21.

Estep’s son is currently in rehabilitation after suffering severe brain damage from the incident, Anderson said.