Fayette County jury finds man not guilty of domestic violence, abduction

By Ashley Bunton - [email protected]

A Washington Court House man was sentenced this week to prison the same day a jury found him not guilty in another case.

A jury trial was held Thursday in a case against Andrew P. Darty for domestic violence and abduction. A jury of eight women and four men sat in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas and listened to witness testimony from a Fayette County woman who alleged Darty, 32, split her lip and kept her restrained by her hair.

The jury found Darty not guilty to charges of domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony, and abduction, a third-degree felony.

Darty was arrested by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office April 11 for domestic violence and abduction. Eighteen days prior to the arrest, Darty had been indicted for trespass into a habitation when a person is present or appears to be present, a fourth-degree felony. He was sentenced immediately after the jury trial ended for the trespass charge and was ordered to serve one year-and-three months in prison, according to Fayette County Assistant Prosecutor John Scott.

During Thursday’s trial, the alleged victim testified that she filed a police report after Darty allegedly caused bruising and swelling on her body and kept her restrained by her hair to prevent her from leaving.

“We were arguing and it didn’t take place very long and he continued screaming as I gathered the baby’s stuff to leave,” the victim in the case testified.

Scott asked the alleged victim if she was then allowed to leave.

“When he restrained me by my hair, no, he would not let me leave,” she said. According to the woman, Darty was staying with her and co-parenting their child together when the incident occurred.

Her testimony revealed that she did leave and that sometime around midnight, her mother drove her to the Washington Court House Police Department where she spoke with patrolman Justin Everhart, who advised her to go to the emergency room to be observed for injuries that included bruising, swelling, difficulty speaking, and a busted lip. X-rays were taken at the Fayette County Memorial Hospital emergency room, the victim said, and she spoke with patrolman Mathew Ellis, who took photographs.

Scott said the state feels there was sufficient evidence to find Darty guilty.

“The jurors in this case must have felt otherwise and we respect their decision. Unfortunately, we did not get an opportunity to speak with any of the jurors after the decision was announced. The state would appreciate the opportunity to hear any juror’s opinion on the case,” said Scott.


By Ashley Bunton

[email protected]

Reach Ashley by calling (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton

Reach Ashley by calling (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton