CLARION – A 38-year-old Brookville man was recently sentenced to state prison after he was found guilty of an October 2018 slashing at a New Bethlehem bar.
On Friday, Feb. 7, Matthew Duane Atcheson received an aggregate sentence of 20 to 40 years on one count of attempted first degree murder. Senior Judge James G. Arner also sentenced Atcheson to a minimum of 33 months to a maximum of 66 months for one second-degree felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and a minimum of 12 months to 24 months on one count of reckless endangerment.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Atcheson was found guilty of attempted first degree murder, two counts each of aggravated and simple assault, and reckless endangerment on Dec. 20, 2019 following a three-day trial.
During the sentencing hearing, according to reports, Atcheson’s attorney urged the judge to consider a lesser sentence explaining that Atcheson’s actions were “not unprovoked.” In turn, District Attorney Drew Welsh noted the defendant’s “seeming lack of remorse and apparent tendency to shift blame.”
Citing his concerns, Arner reportedly said that he also believed that Atcheson did not appear to take “full responsibility for the incident and its effects.”
Atcheson will await his transfer to a state facility at the Clarion County Jail.
Atcheson’s conviction stemmed from an Oct. 27, 2018 incident in which he reportedly pulled a knife from his pocket and slit the throat of 27-year-old Damen DuBrock of New Bethlehem during an altercation at approximately 11:45 p.m. at Desperado’s Bar.
As previously reported, state police responded to the bar’s Broad Street location after being notified around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 of a physical assault which was possibly going to become a homicide investigation.
A Desperado’s employee reportedly told police that Atcheson had been inside the bar several times on Oct. 27, beginning at 7 p.m. Despite being asked to leave multiple times due to his behavior, Atcheson allegedly continued to return.
When bar staff refused to serve him, Atcheson reportedly became argumentative and got into a verbal dispute with DuBrock, which eventually turned physical.
Police said Atcheson returned a short time later and, at one point allegedly threatened to stab DuBrock. An altercation ensued near the pool table, and she soon saw DuBrock with his hands around his neck covering a wound.
During a later interview, a second witness reportedly told police that Atcheson had been causing problems within the bar and was told to leave.
The witness reportedly stated that Atcheson got into a physical fight with his wife when she attempted to get him out of the bar. They eventually left through the back exit.
Atcheson was allegedly kicked out of Desperado’s three times before entering for a fourth time.
Reports state Atcheson yelled at the bartender and took a knife from his back pants pocket. Noticing the knife before Atcheson removed it from his pocket, the witness reportedly yelled “knife” to DuBrock.
When DuBrock turned to look, Atcheson allegedly pulled the knife from his pocket and used it to cut DuBrock’s throat.
An “excessive” amount of blood was immediately observed coming from DuBrock’s neck, court documents state.
Following the attack, Atcheson allegedly ran out the back entrance of the bar, and 911 was called while other patrons ran to help DuBrock.
Police said video surveillance footage from inside the bar confirmed witness interviews.