A Red Lion man must spend nearly a year in prison for beating a man involved in a road-rage incident with the attacker's girlfriend.
Benjamin Robert Blair, 24, of South Franklin Street, was sentenced to 10 to 23-1/2 months in York County Prison and must begin serving his sentence on April 28, according to court records.
A jury on Jan. 24 found Blair guilty of aggravated assault.
Victim Ian O'Toole, 24, of Hopewell Township, died Oct. 9, 2012, about three weeks after being attacked by Blair. His death was caused by pneumonia complicated by mixed drug toxicity, according to York County Deputy Coroner Steve Cosey, who ruled the death accidental.
Cosey declined to say what drugs were in O'Toole's system, but said they were not prescribed for his injuries.
The background: The attack happened Sept. 16, 2012, in the parking lot of Royal Farms convenience store at the corner of South Queen Street and Leader Heights Road in York Township.
O'Toole was a passenger in a car being driven by his friend, William Prescott III. After Prescott pulled into the parking lot, a woman blocked them in with her vehicle, yelling they'd nearly run her off the road, police said.
That woman, Adrianna Martinez, is the mother of Blair's child, according to York Area Regional Police, and she summoned Blair to the scene.
Blair arrived and began assaulting Prescott while Prescott was still inside his car, according to court documents. When Prescott yelled for help, O'Toole ran to him.
Body-slammed: "(Blair) picked up and body-slammed Ian O'Toole to the ground," Prescott testified at Blair's preliminary hearing in November 2012. "I heard his head crack on the ground."
Prescott said Blair then got on top of O'Toole and started punching him "over and over again" in the head. He said he got out of his car, at which point Blair fled the scene.
O'Toole was left "lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood," Prescott testified.
O'Toole's injuries included broken bones to his right eye and right upper cheek, facial bruising and two fractured wrist bones, according to police.
Woman acquitted: Martinez, 23, now of Dumfries, Va., was tried jointly with Blair. Jurors acquitted her of criminal solicitation to commit simple assault.
Senior deputy prosecutor Jonathan Blake said he asked presiding Common Pleas Judge Thomas H. Kelley VI to impose a state prison sentence for Blair.
But the judge cited several reasons a mitigated sentence was appropriate, including the fact that Blair has no prior record, according to Blake.
Defense attorney Shawn Curry, who represented Blair, could not be reached for comment.
Curry previously told The York Dispatch the incident was a mutual confrontation.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.