Jury is seated for Long trial
Shawn Long, 40, of Middlebourne, currently charged with four felony counts, including kidnapping, malicious assault, assault during the commission of a felony, and domestic battery (second offense) appeared in Tyler County Circuit Court Tuesday.
A jury was impanelled by Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. shortly after 11 a.m. and opening statements were presented by Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee, appearing for the State, and defense counsel Keith Hart.
“This is a case about rage, about personal violence, about control, and about fear,” began the prosecution, speaking to the jurors in his opening argument.
“Shawn Long battered, assaulted and confined a woman here in Middlebourne, at his residence,” he added.
“What is on trial here, is the truth,” Furbee told the jury. “Brandi George didn’t deserved the treatment she received.”
Defense attorney Keith Hart spoke for Long, beginning by saying, “It is my privilege to represent Shawn Long in this case.”
“What you have heard from the prosecution is not all the evidence,” he said.
Hart attested that Ms. George, as well as Long, had been drinking on the evening in question.
“They quarreled,” Hart stated, “when Brandi George decided she wanted to go out drinking some more. Sean Long said, ‘no, you’re drunk, you’re not driving.'”
“It was a quarrel, and yes, it did turn physical – because Sean Long did not want Brandi George to drive drunk in this community.”
“I ask you to apply common sense to this case,” Hart concluded.
The incident in question occurred in February, 2009. Brandi George, who was in a relationship with Long at the time, alleges that Long repeatedly physically attacked her after first accusing her of stealing from him.
The altercation took place at Long’s residence on the evening of February 15, 2009.
Ms. George attested that Long had been drinking the day of the incident and continued to drink during the evening hours. When she denied stealing from Long, she alleges he became violent. George denies being intoxicated, claiming she had had ‘like, one beer” during the time in question.
According to George’s sworn testimony, Long ‘shoved me around, drug me into the living room, shoved me onto the couch, and started slapping me.’
The physical altercation went on for some time, alleges George, who tried unsuccessfully to escape from the residence.
George claims that Long attempted to smother her, threatened her, ripped off her clothes, and verbally attacked her for hours. Escaping from the residence after repeated attempts, George went to a neighbor’s home wearing nothing but a sweatshirt.
The prosecution introduced testimony from several witnesses, including Michael Hall, Risk Manager at Sistersville General Hospital, who produced subpoenaed records of Ms. George’s emergency room visit, Dr. John King, attending physician at SGH emergency room who examined Groves, neighbor Amy Baucher, who assisted Ms. George, and 911 dispatch supervisor Eldon Pratt and dispatcher Paul Lemasters, who answered George’s 911 emergency call.
Court records were also entered as evidence by the prosecution, which contained details of Long’s bond agreement with the court and the domestic violence order obtained by George.
As reported by Jonay Corley in an article published in TSN February 19, 2009, Cpl. Shannon Huffman of the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department observed red marks on the victim’s face as well as bruising. In her statement to law enforcement, George alleged that Long had began the abuse at around 8 p.m. on Sunday evening. She said he had struck her in the face and held her mouth shut when she screamed. According to George, Long also threatened to smother her and refused to let her leave his house.
At press time, the prosecution had not finished presenting its case. The full details of the trial and the verdict will appear in next week’s issue of Tyler Star News.