Hatchet attack leads to state prison sentence

A Girard, Pa. man received a 25 to 50 month state prison sentence on Friday stemming from an incident that included a hatchet and a machete.

President Judge Maureen Skerda sentenced Michael Joseph Rogers during sentence court proceedings on Friday on a single count of felony aggravated assault, bodily injury with a deadly weapon.

Prior to the sentence, Assistant Public Defender Alan Conn said that Rogers was “severely intoxicated at the time” and “does have an alcohol problem.”

“Crimes of violence in Warren County cannot be tolerated,” District Attorney Robert Greene said, noting that he attacked the victim with a hatchet around a campfire. Skerda clarified that the assault started with a hatchet and also included a machete. She said Rogers “had to take time in between” in switching weapons.

The victim gave a statement to the court, outlining a host of issues that he has endured since the attack, including anxiety issues and the loss of his “sense of security.” The victim, who serves in a law enforcement capacity, told the court that he had a loaded gun on him “the entire time” throughout the attack and was able to refrain from using it.

“I was wrong, I take responsibility,” Rogers told the court. Claiming he did not know the victim, he said “it just got out of hand.”

“This is (a) deplorable action,” Skerda said. “Violent crime is something I hold people accountable for. No excuses.

In addition to the period of incarceration, Rogers was also sentenced to two years probation following incarceration, a total of $150 in fees and a $2,000 fine. He was also ordered to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation as well as a mental health evaluation.