A man accused of assaulting his wife's ex-husband in the head with a golf club in front of her children was found guilty by a jury in Newton County Superior Court Friday and sentenced to 40 years.
Sean Garfield Allen, 35, was convicted of aggravated battery, aggravated assault and two counts of cruelty to children in the third degree. He was sentenced by Judge Eugene Benton to 40 years, with 16 to be served in confinement, and ordered to pay about $135,000 in restitution for the victim's medical costs.
Allen and the victim, Charles Williams, the ex-husband of his wife and the father of his wife's two children, reportedly got into an altercation on August 19, 2005 at 415 Lakeside Circle, according to Assistant District Attorney Clint Malcolm.
Allen claimed he was defending himself when he grabbed a golf club and whacked Williams in the head, though prosecutors contended there was no evidence to support the claim. The assault occurred in front of the victim's 9-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, leading to charges of cruelty to children.
Williams suffered an open skull fracture and was life-flighted to Atlanta Medical Center. He was left with seizures, speech difficulties and memory problems, although doctors were unable to say if the disabilities would be permanent, Malcolm said.
Allen fled the scene with the golf club, described to be a putter although the weapon was never recovered by investigators, and was arrested months later, according to Malcolm.
During the three-day trial, Williams and his two children testified on the stand along with the brain surgeon that operated on Williams, a deputy, paramedic and a 911 operator. The mother of the children, who said she hadn't witnessed the assault but called 911 after it happened, testified for the defense, according to Malcolm. Allen testified as well, becoming agitated on the stand at times.
"He got a sentence we were happy with," said Malcolm. "It was a substantial sentence based on the severity of the injury and based on the fact the children witnessed it."
He said the family was satisfied as well to have some closure and be able to move on with their lives.