DeBord guilty on all 3 counts

By John Hamilton -

WILMINGTON — A Clinton County man was found guilty of all three counts by a jury in Clinton County Common Pleas Court Thursday.

Lee DeBord, 50, was charged with two counts of felony 2 felonious assault and felony 3 tampering with evidence related to a July 25, 2018 incident where he allegedly assaulted his roommate Roger Tucker, 30, with a machete. The incident took place at their residence in the community of Cuba, south of Wilmington.

DeBord had left the scene and was later apprehended in Clermont County on Aug. 1.

DeBord testified Wednesday that Tucker “jumped” him after DeBord had told Tucker and Tucker’s girlfriend to move out of the house. DeBord also claimed the injuries came about while the two “rolled around.”

This was the main argument of his attorney, Public Defender Rob Baker, during his closing argument to the jury. Baker said that DeBord was scared, which was why he fled and couldn’t remember how many times he hit Tucker.

The prosecution, represented by Katie Wilkin of the county prosecutor’s office, recounted the severity of the multiple wounds Tucker suffered from the incident. Wilkin described Tucker’s neck injury as “almost a decapitation.”

Tucker, in his testimony, claimed they had been arguing because DeBord wanted him and his girlfriend to move out. On the day of the incident, he said the two argued earlier in the day and then went to confront him about making them move out earlier than expected. That’s when he was allegedly attacked.

He testified he left the residence and went to his neighbors’ home — brothers Bill and Larry Kelsey. Bill Kelsey, who testified along with his brother, recalled that when Tucker arrived he was bleeding heavily and was saying, “Please don’t let me die” and, “Don’t let him kill me.”

Tucker, Kelsey, and Crystal Coburn testified that, while at the Kelsey residence, they recalled DeBord allegedly screaming, “Next time I’ll cut your head off” in one way or another.

On Monday Dr. Gregory Semon, a trauma surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital who performed the operation on Tucker when he was transported via CareFlight from Clinton County, testified in detail on the severity of Tucker’s wounds — including a three-inch wound on Tucker’s neck that had a severe bleed — which he described as “one of the worst” he’s seen.

He also talked about the procedures needed, including work needed to be done on Tucker’s right wrist. Photos taken by Semon were presented as evidence to the jury.

DeBord will be held at the Clinton County Jail until his sentencing on March 11.

By John Hamilton