Jury finds duo guilty in assault

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 29, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Danielle Jones spent most of her birthday in Dallas County Circuit Court, reliving one of the worst days of her life.

But before Thursday was over a Dallas County jury gave her something to celebrate – justice for an assault that could have ended her life at 17 years of age. Jones, now 19, was hit in the head with an aluminum baseball bat the night of Nov. 10, 2004, during an argument that went foul.

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Assistant district attorneys John Oxford and Carmella Penn won a conviction of Jones’ attackers, Marilyn Hale and Matthew Hale.

Jurors deliberated less than two hours before returning a verdict to Judge Jack Meigs, finding the two guilty of second degree assault.

The two had been indicted by a grand jury for assault in the first degree. Their attorneys, Jeffrey Robinson and Christmas Green, asked Meigs for a pre-sentencing investigation before sentencing.

Marilyn Hale, who is currently on probation for a previous burglary offense, faces up to 20 years in prison for her part in the assault. Matthew Hale faces up to 10 years in prison.

“She was riding with some others and they stopped in the 1700 block of Lauderdale St.,” Oxford said. “What was a verbal altercation escalated, and ended in Ms. Jones being severely injured.”

According to testimony, Matthew Hale struck Jones with a bat, and Marilyn Hale hit Jones with a bottle. Jones was hospitalized overnight and a permanent scar was left on her head.