January 8, 2013

Former Richmond man avoids jail in 2008 slapping, kicking assault

Mark Czemerys, 34, of Portland, sentenced Monday; Heath McLaughlin, 33, died hours after assault from unrelated causes

STAFF REPORT

AUGUSTA -- A Portland man will see no jail time for being involved in slapping and kicking a drunken man who died hours later of what the medical examiner ruled were unrelated causes.

Mark Czemerys, 34, formerly of Richmond, pleaded guilty on Oct. 2 to assaulting Heath McLaughlin, 33, on Nov. 27, 2008, in Randolph.

Czemerys was sentenced Monday in Kennebec County Superior Court to 364 days in jail, all of which was suspended, and one year of administrative release.

Assistant District Attorney Fernand LaRochelle said while he had requested that Czemerys serve 30 days in jail, the judge seemed to take into account psychological evaluations of Czemerys and the fact that the risk of reoffense was low. Czemerys had no criminal record prior to or after the event, LaRochelle said.

McLaughlin was an alcoholic who had been battling his disease, according to sentencing documents filed with the court.

As part of the sentence, Czemerys was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and fined $600.

Czemerys' attorney, Andrews Campbell, had asked for a fully suspended sentence.

A co-defendant, Steven Trask, pleaded guilty in September 2010 to assaulting McLaughlin and was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all but 90 days suspended, and one year of probation. Trask had two previous assault convictions.

 

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