John Hester and his son Brett Hester both pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint and two counts of assault and were each sentenced to 45 days in jail by visiting Judge Robert J. Judkins during a hearing Tuesday at Hillsboro Municipal Court.
The sentence stems from a Feb. 14 incident of road rage in which John and Brett, in separate vehicles, followed two teenagers in a vehicle that had nearly accidentally struck John’s vehicle on S.R. 138 near North High Street in Hillsboro.
“Two juveniles, a 16-year-old male and a 15-year-old female, called in and reported that they had been blocked in by two vehicles on S.R. 138 near Morrow Road and removed from the vehicle and assaulted,” said Sgt. Vincent Antinore of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office.
Antinore said when he interviewed John and Brett, they both admitted the altercation turned physical, and the pair were subsequently arrested.
During the hearing, William Armintrout, the attorney for both Hesters, said, “I can tell you that I’ve seen him [John] reduced to tears over this. If he could jump in a time machine and go back, this would have never happened.”
The male victim’s father also spoke during the hearing. “We’ve been through a horrendous event,” he said. “(My son) got diagnosed with a concussion. He was struck at least eight times behind the back of the head, and he actually said he was held in a headlock by his son while he was getting hit in the back of the head, so, to me, it’s a pretty traumatic event.”
When issuing his sentence to John Hester, Judkins said, “The severity of this crime warrants a substantial jail sentence, but I don’t want it to be so debilitating that it totally destroys your life.”
No fine was issued, but both Hesters will be required to pay court costs within six months, and the jail time can be served during weekends.
“I want you to be subject to, initially, an 18-month period of basic supervision where you are required every now and then to report in to the probation department, and you are going to be ordered to have no contact with either of the juveniles or their parents,” said Judkins during John’s sentencing.
Speaking to both Hesters following the sentencings, Judkins said, “I will give you the sternest warning to never, ever let your emotions take you to the point where it can result in an act of violence or threat of danger to another individual again. With that warning, understand that the consequences will be a lot more severe than they are now if that happens.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.