CLEARFIELD — Zachary Arthur Winters, 20, of Punxsutawney was sentenced to state prison by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman for participating in the assault that caused serious injuries to a 21-year-old male.
Winters pleaded guilty to terroristic threats — misdemeanor of the first degree, simple assault — misdemeanor of the second degree and the plea called for a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail.
Winters and a male juvenile assaulted the victim at a party in a wooded area in Houston Township on Aug, 1, 2021, according to court documents.
The victim’s mother testified that her son suffered a long term brain injury in the assault and continues to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological affects from the assault.
She also called Winters arrogant and said he has shown no remorse for his actions and even bragged about the assault online.
Ammerman expressed his displeasure over the obscene posts Winters allegedly made about the incident on social media.
After the victim’s mother made her statement, Winters spoke on his own behalf and apologized to the victim and his family.
“If I could take it back I would,” Winters said.
Winters’ attorney Joe Ryan of Reynoldsville said Winters’ co-defendant did most of the damage and he was prosecuted in juvenile court and asked Ammerman to allow Winters to service his sentence in the Jefferson County Jail.
According to police, the juvenile hit the victim with a set of brass knuckles. Winters then allegedly struck the victim multiple times with a closed fist.
Ammerman said he believes Winters deserves more time in jail than the 30 day minimum but said he is constrained because the state police did not charge Winters with more serious offenses.
Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan Sayers noted Winters is pleading guilty to the most serious charges the police have charged him with.
And Ammerman noted that under the state’s sentencing guidelines, Winters’ standard range for the minimum sentence is probation to one month in jail.
Ammerman then sentenced Winters to serve a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of three years in state prison plus two years consecutive probation.
He also ordered Winters to pay $743.51 restitution to the victim and to have no contact with the victim.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Aug. 1, 2021, a female called state police and reported her friend was assaulted while they were at a party at a wooded area along Bark Camp Road in Huston Township.
Troopers instructed them to leave the party and meet them along state Route 255.
Troopers observed the victim in the back seat of a vehicle and saw he was suffering from injuries significantly more severe than they were initially told.
State police reported the victim’s eye was swollen shut, his nose was dislodged to the right side and he had several cuts.
The victim’s face and clothing were also covered in blood and he was lethargic.
The victim said they arrived at the party and a known male juvenile and Winters started calling him names and striking him to the point he couldn’t remember.
EMS were called and Bennett’s Valley Ambulance transported the victim to the hospital. State police were later informed that the victim had been transported to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh for surgery and treatment of his injuries.