John Knox Sentenced to Three- To Five-Year Prison Term For Aggravated Assault
A Casper man convicted of aggravated assault and battery will spend three to five years in prison, according to the sentence handed down to him in Natrona County District Court on Thursday.
But John Knox still defended his innocence, despite his conviction by a jury in April for hitting a man in the jaw that caused tens of thousands of dollars of injuries and the prosecution's recitation of his criminal record.
Knox apologized to the victim and his family, when he spoke to District Court Judge Catherine Wilking.
But he would not say he was sorry for his actions.
"I will not apologize, your honor, for defending myself in my own home," Knox said.
Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk had recommended and eight- to 10-year prison term, plus restitution.
Knox's defense attorney Kurt Infanger recommended a three- to five-year term, with all time suspended, and waiving about $12,000 in public defender fees.
Infanger said Knox learned work skills when he was in prison and can get a job to pay the victim's medical bills of nearly $36,000. "If Knox is sent to prison, (the victim) won't see a dime."
But Wilking said Knox was not a candidate for probation because of his criminal background and his refusal to take responsibility for his actions.
She sentenced him to a three- to five-year term at the Wyoming State Penitentiary, and ordered him pay restitution for the victim and another $14,000 to a victim's fund.
The case began in mid-July 2015 when the victim and his brother went to a party at Knox’s residence in the 300 block of West Midwest Avenue, according to court documents.
The victim took a bottle of bourbon to share. After the bottle was empty, Knox confronted him, saying it was his bottle.
An argument ensued. Knox hit the victim multiple times with his fist, according to court records. The victim and his brother then were pushed out of the residence and down a flight of stairs.
Knox vehemently disputed the official story Thursday.
He said he invited the victim, a long-time friend, and his brother to the party. The victim became very intoxicated and Knox repeatedly asked him to leave. Other people at the party also agreed that the victim should leave.
The victim swung to hit Knox with the bottle, and Knox punched the man once with his fist. Knox said he did not repeatedly hit the man or kick him when he was down.
In an unrelated case, Knox pleaded guilty to aggravated assault stemming from an incident at Racks Gentleman’s Club in January.