Jury: York man not guilty in Hanover machete attack

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
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Jurors have acquitted a York City man of attacking his ex-wife's boyfriend with a machete in Hanover.

Errol G. Medina, 49, was found not guilty on Nov. 26 of two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless driving, as well as one count of reckless endangerment.

Hanover Borough Police arrested Medina after a dust-up there involving borough resident Marcus Johnson, who had been living with Sarah Graybill, the mother of Medina's children, according to trial testimony.

Testimony revealed Graybill had asked Medina for a ride to her Hanover home after she was released from York County Prison on Oct. 25, 2018, and that Johnson attacked her about 12:15 p.m. that day.

Graybill suffered a concussion, broken teeth and a broken nose, according to Medina's defense attorney, Sandra Thompson.

After Johnson chased Medina down Frederick Street, Medina struck Johnson on the arm with a machete, causing a bone-deep gash that required surgery.

The prosecution's case was lost when Johnson — the supposed victim in the case — testified he was the aggressor in the encounter. Confirming Johnson's testimony was his friend and next-door neighbor, Peter Goines.

"I was angry — out of my mind," Johnson told jurors from the witness stand. "I was also under the influence that morning."

'Leave her alone': Johnson said he "wasn't done" attacking Graybill and was extremely emotional.

"(Medina) told me to leave her alone. He told me to back up. ... I kept advancing toward him," Johnson told jurors. "I had time (to think) while I was in jail. I realized I was the aggressor."

Goines also testified that Johnson was the aggressor, chasing after Medina's car as Medina and Graybill tried to flee to safety, then grabbing onto Graybill and hanging on.

"The door never shut because he was hanging on to it," Goines said.

After Johnson let go and fell away, the car door struck an object that completely pulled off the passenger-side door, Goines said.

Medina and Graybill drove off but were surrounded by a group of neighbors, one of whom grabbed the keys out of Medina's car and suffered cuts on his fingers from the machete, according to testimony.

'Angry mob': Thompson told jurors Medina tried to explain to the crowd of "good Samaritans" that he and Graybill feared for their safety, but the crowd wasn't listening.

"Now it's an angry mob that doesn't know he's just trying to protect this woman," Thompson said in her closing argument, adding Medina acted in self-defense and in defense of Graybill.

"What would a reasonable person have done?" she asked. "It was ... a dire situation."

Johnson was later convicted of simple assault for attacking Graybill, according to testimony.

"Nobody is rooting for Mr. Johnson in this case," senior deputy prosecutor Lewis Reagan told jurors in his closing argument. "He's a horrible guy. But this isn't about what Mr. Johnson deserved — it's about the law."

Reagan argued that Medina "acted out of rage" in response to Johnson attacking Graybill.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.