A Sunbury woman who was hospitalized after she was beaten by her boyfriend last April says she is satisfied with his trial’s outcome but believes the extent of her injuries were minimized at the assailant’s sentencing hearing last month.
Brandon Muth, 24, of Gahanna, was originally charged with attempted murder in connection with the beating of Kristy Neu, 21, of Sunbury, but the charge was dropped later when he pleaded guilty to felonious assault after reaching an agreement with prosecutors. He is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence in connection with the assault.
But Neu says that not enough of her story was told in Delaware County Common Pleas Court when Muth was sentenced.
Neu said she spent two days in the hospital with serious physical injuries. Prosecutors said Neu had bruising on both eyes and her neck, as well as several bite marks, and had to have stitches because part of her nose had been bitten off.
Neu said Wednesday that she is glad the case is over and is pleased with the prison sentence that Muth received after he beat her so badly that she believed she was going to die.
Neu said the attack has caused lasting physical harm and said she now has problems trusting people. Neu said the attack also caused her to drop out of school but said Wednesday that she had just re-enrolled and is looking forward to putting the attack behind her.
However, Neu said much of the Nov. 30 sentencing hearing in court was about Muth’s past trauma and that Muth’s defense attorney, Joel Spitzer, downplayed her injuries.
In a sentencing memorandum for his client, Spitzer said the injuries Neu suffered were “superficial” and said that Neu was released from the hospital the evening of the attack.
Spitzer told The Gazette on Dec. 11 that he was using medical records provided as evidence in the case. Spitzer said doctors described her injuries as “superficial” and said that Neu was never admitted to the hospital. Spitzer added that, as the father of three daughters, he would be “very angry” if something similar happened to one of them.
Muth was originally indicted on April 23 on charges of attempted murder, a first-degree felony; kidnapping, a first-degree felony; felonious assault, a second-degree felony; abduction, a third-degree felony; and animal cruelty, a second-degree misdemeanor.
After reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, Muth entered guilty pleas in October to the felonious assault and kidnapping charges. As a condition of the agreement, the attempted murder, abduction and the animal cruelty charges were dismissed.
Prosecutors said the animal cruelty charge stemmed from Muth attacking Neu’s dog when it tried to defend her.
Common Pleas Judge David Gormley sentenced Muth to serve five years for the felonious assault conviction and three years for kidnapping. Prosecutors said the kidnapping charge came from Muth keeping Neu in a bathroom and not letting her leave.
Neu said she was satisfied with the sentence and thought Gormley was fair.
According to court documents, the assault occurred the night of April 18 after Muth had gone to bed early. When Neu came to bed and asked him to move over, he began hitting her with his fists.
“He kept repeating ‘I told you not to piss me off, this is what happens when you piss me off,’” Neu told The Gazette. Neu said Muth took her to the bathroom, injured her thumbs so she couldn’t call 9-1-1, and stepped on her phone.
“I pleaded with him,” Neu said. “I said, ‘I don’t want to die.’”
Assistant county prosecuting attorney Kyle Rohrer said that Muth also strangled Neu but eventually released her and then left the apartment. Rohrer said that Neu could have died in the attack if he had continued to strangle her.
“This has been a long eight months and I’m happy it’s finally over,” Neu said.
Neu said she is considering filing a civil suit against Muth.