ELYRIA — A Lorain County jury has acquitted an Avon man accused of stabbing his girlfriend in the head of felonious assault and domestic violence charges.
The jury’s decision on the charges against 59-year-old Lonnie Sherrill came Monday after about an hour of deliberations following a trial that began last week.
Anthony Baker, Sherrill’s defense attorney, said the trial came down to whom the jury believed, his client or the alleged victim, Tina Nagy.
“She was lying and she was drunk and there was no physical evidence tying him to the alleged stabbing,” Baker said.
An Avon police investigation determined that Nagy was stabbed in the head during a heated argument on Aug. 27, 2013. In a request for a search warrant in the case, police wrote that “Sherrill was the only person who had the opportunity and motive to commit this act of violence.”
Baker said it appeared that Nagy had actually fallen and struck her head on a heating unit inside her home, and then tried to blame the injury on Sherrill.
He said his client left the Center Road home about 5:30 p.m. and was at a friend’s house until about 8 p.m. Nagy, whom Baker said wasn’t injured when his client left, called Sherrill twice during that time. Baker said that was important because the calls took place after Nagy claimed she was attacked and there was no blood on the phone.
When Sherrill returned to Nagy at 8:19 p.m., he found her bleeding and called police, Baker said. He said she was hospitalized and received five stitches.
Baker also said that police recovered a knife with bloodstains on it that officers suspected was used in the attack, but the blood didn’t match the DNA of either Sherrill or Nagy.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will said there were some inconsistencies in Nagy’s story, but investigators attributed those to the injuries and trauma she sustained. In the end, he said, the jury felt Sherrill’s version of events was more believable.
“It came down to a question of credibility,” he said.
Baker said he expects his client will be released from the Lorain County Jail soon. He was still being held Monday because he was on probation for an assault conviction in Tennessee when he was arrested in connection with Nagy’s injuries.
Now that Sherrill has been acquitted, Baker said he expects the allegations that he violated his probation will be dropped.