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Jury: West York man guilty of attempted first-degree murder
A York County jury has convicted a West York man of attempted murder for stabbing a man — an attack the trial prosecutor described as an evisceration.
Jurors took about two hours Thursday, Jan. 18, to convict Logan Hale of attempted first-degree murder for injuring Kenneth Ray, according to court records.
"He maintains his innocence, and that he was defending his brother, his friend and himself," defense attorney George Margetas said, adding he and his client are considering their appeal options.
Hale, 27, is scheduled to be sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Harry Ness on Feb. 26, according to court records.
Hale was locked up for about a year after being charged but was released on $1 bail, called "nominal bail," after it was determined his case wasn't brought to trial within the state's one-year speedy-trial rule.
After the jury's verdict was announced, Hale's bail was revoked and he was committed to York County Prison to await his sentence, according to Margetas.
The attorney confirmed his client is facing a lengthy prison sentence, possibly a decade.
'Gaping' wound: Hale stabbed Ray, now 34, numerous times, causing a "gaping abdominal wound (that) exposed the victim's intestines," according to West York Police documents.
"Mr. Ray was eviscerated in the alleyway outside Logan Hale's home," senior deputy prosecutor Kim Kipnis told The York Dispatch.
She said Ray's intestines were actually protruding from one of his stab wounds.
Ray required emergency surgery, police said.
West York Police said Hale admitted to stabbing Ray and told them he had arranged a pot deal between Ray and Jonathan Kirsch and that the three of them drove to Hale's home in the 1500 block of West King Street shortly before 1 a.m. Jan. 20, 2017.
Hale maintains that once there, Ray pulled out a knife and tried to rob the other two men of marijuana and cash, Margetas said.
Hale told officers that's when he grabbed a dagger from his bedroom and chased Ray outside.
Inside or outside? Where Hale stabbed Ray was disputed at trial. Margetas said Hale maintains he was inside his home when he stabbed Ray.
But Kipnis said the evidence showed Ray was stabbed in the alley outside Hale's home.
"There was no blood found in the house," she said, adding that a blood trail was found in the alley.
Kipnis isn't convinced Ray tried to rob Hale and Kirsch. But even if there was a robbery attempt, she said, it's a separate incident from the stabbing.
"He was hunted down," she said. "He was chased into the alleyway."
Ray testified he never went inside Hale's home, but a medical doctor testified it's not uncommon for victims of severe physical trauma to have spotty memories of the event, according to Kipnis.
Remembered attack: "(Ray) did remember that Logan had a dagger and that he used it to eviscerate him," she said.
Margetas said Hale maintains Ray put a knife to his throat and said Kirsch testified the stabbing happened inside Hale's home.
He also said Ray's story has evolved.
"To this day he's never admitted it was a weed deal," Margetas said.
The attorney argued to jurors that Hale stabbed Ray in self-defense and in the defense of others.
"The jury must have believed it all happened outside and that my client didn't retreat when he should have," Margetas said.
Co-defendant: Kirsch, 26, of West Manchester Township, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Jan. 16, to simple possession of a controlled substance, which is a misdemeanor.
In this case, the drug was marijuana, according to Kirsch's defense attorney, Chris Ferro.
Dismissed were Kirsch's charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, attempted drug possession with intent to deliver and criminal conspiracy.
"I don't view it as a plea deal," Ferro said. "To me, this was not a plea agreement. It was simply the commonwealth's recognition that Jonathan is a witness in this incident and nothing more."
Kirsch was sentenced Friday, Jan. 19, to a year of probation and ordered to submit to random drug tests and complete a drug and alcohol evaluation, according to court records.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.