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Lee man gets 12 1/2 years for assault on new wife at reception

Wes Bunch • Aug 22, 2013 at 5:36 PM

JONESVILLE — A Lee County man who left his newlywed wife with several broken bones after assaulting her and spitting in her face at their wedding reception was sentenced to over a decade in prison Tuesday during an appearance in court.

Gregory Michael Carroll, 49, of Jonesville, was ordered to serve an effective sentence of 12 years and six months in state prison by Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea after pleading guilty in April to two counts of malicious wounding and a single count of destruction of property over $1,000.

Lee County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shawn Hines said his office pushed for Carroll to receive no less than 20 years in prison due to the “brute nature” of the crime.

The charges against Carroll stemmed from the Feb. 24 assault on his wife, Donna McMurray, and the host of the couple’s wedding reception, Paul Boné.

Hines said the incident occurred at Boné’s Pennington Gap residence just two days after Carroll and McMurray were married.

McMurray — who was in critical condition following the assault with bleeding on the brain, a broken eye socket, broken ribs and a collapsed lung — testified during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing that the beating she received from Carroll felt like it “lasted an eternity.”

According to evidence presented by prosecutors, Carroll was high at the party and drinking liquor when both McMurray and Boné said he “snapped.”

McMurray said she was in the kitchen helping make pizzas when Carroll entered and shoved her before dragging her outside. McMurray testified that once outside, Carroll began striking her repeatedly and kicking her in the ribs and head while wearing work boots.

McMurray also testified that Carroll spit in her face following the attack.

During her testimony, McMurray told the court that she spent several days in an intensive care unit at Holston Valley Medical Center following the beating and that Carroll kicked her so hard it left boot imprints on her body.

After assaulting his wife, Hines said Carroll turned his attention to Boné, shouting that he was the devil before hitting and choking the reception host.

Boné also took the stand during the hearing and testified that he feared for his life during the attack. Boné said at one point he pulled a .22 pistol on Carroll and hit him with it. Boné managed to escape momentarily, Hines said, before Carroll followed him into the bedroom and threw him into a wall.

Boné went on to testify that he then pulled a .38 pistol from his nightstand in the room and fired two warning shots in an effort to stop Carroll. Hines said Boné fired a third warning shot, before shooting Carroll with his fourth shot and ending the attack.

Hines said Carroll was not injured since the bullet struck a metal cigarette lighter that was in his shirt pocket.

In an impact statement to the court, Boné said he suffered black eyes, bruising around his head and face and a fractured nose following his altercation with Carroll. Boné also claimed the incident caused over $1,000 in damage to his home.

During Tuesday’s hearing, McElyea sentenced Carroll to 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended for the assault on Murray and 20 years with 18 years suspended for assaulting Boné. Carroll was also given a 12 month sentence with six months suspended for the destruction of property charge.

McElyea ordered that all three sentences be served consecutively.

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