MOUNT IDA – A Mount Ida man was sentenced to one year in the Montgomery County Jail and a total of $3,000 in fines after being found guilty of two misdemeanor charges in the 18th West Circuit Court Friday, July 19.
Justin Ray Manley, age 47 of Mount Ida, was found guilty of failure to submit to arrest and fleeing, both misdemeanors Friday by a jury which consisted of six men and six women.
Manley faced a felony charge of battery second degree of a law enforcement officer, a class D felony, but was acquitted of the charge. He originally was charged with resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor, but was found guilty of a lesser including charge of failure to submit to arrest.
Prosecuting Attorney Any Riner alleged that Manley was involved in a scuffle with then Montgomery County Chief Deputy Greg Harmon which resulted in injury to Harmon.
Harmon testified that he had followed Jamie Kennedy to her home where she alleged her boyfriend, Justin Manley, would not leave the home after she asked him to do so.
Harmon stated that when he arrived at the residence Manley was confrontational and refused to talk to him. Harmon added that he had pulled his taser gun on Manley once before he attempted to place him under arrest, but had holstered his taser.
When asked why he holstered his taser Harmon stated that there is a line a person has to cross before he would shoot someone with a taser. That he has to feel threatened before he would use a taser on someone. He stated that at the time he holstered his taser he didn’t feel Manley was a threat to harm him.
Harmon stated that he informed Manley he was going to place him under arrest for disorderly conduct and when he went to place Manley in handcuffs he resisted. Harmon described a brief struggle which resulted in Manley escaping to a 4-wheeler which he then rode off the property. Harmon stated that he pursued Manley on foot to the tree line before ending the pursuit. It was at this time that he noticed he had an abrasion on his arm which was bleeding.
Riner entered photos of the porch and Harmon’s arm taken the day of the alleged incident. Manley’s lawyer, Brian Johnson, pointed out in cross-examination that there was no blood on the porch where the alleged scuffle had taken place. He asked Harmon was it possible that he injured his arm at a different time. Harmon stated no.
Johnson also verified that Harmon didn’t feel threatened before the alleged arrest attempt.
Manley’s then girlfriend Jamie Kennedy testified that the property Manley was asked to leave that night was her property and that he had lived there intermittently for approximately two years. She stated that he very seldom had paid rent or helped out financially during this time.
She stated in her testimony that on the day in question she and Manley had gotten into an argument and he had taken her keys and cell phone from her and wouldn’t let her leave the home for most of the day. She reported that when she got away from the residence that she went to the sheriff’s office to get help in making him leave.
She stated that she witnessed Harmon pull his taser gun on Manley, but said that she didn’t remember seeing an altercation between the two. All she remembered seeing was Manley jumping off the porch and running away.
Manley’s lawyer asked Harmon and Kennedy if Manley had been served with an order to vacate paper. Both answered no.
The jury was instructed that were to render a verdict on Manley’s guilt or innocence of battery second degree of a law enforcement officer, a class D felony, or the lesser included offense of second degree assault.
They were also instructed to render a verdict on Manley’s guilt or innocence of resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor, or the lesser included offense of failure to submit to arrest, and fleeing, a class A misdemeanor.
After a time of deliberation the jury acquitted Manley of the felony assault against an officer charge and the lesser second degree assault charge.
However, they did find him guilty of fleeing and the lesser included charge of failure to submit to arrest.
Manley was sentenced to the maximum sentence for both misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 12 months in the Montgomery County Jail and a $2,500 fine for the fleeing conviction and 90 days in the Montgomery County Jail and a $500 fine for the failure to submit to arrest conviction. All jail time will be served concurrent.