MILLERSBURG -- For assaulting his father during an August argument, a Killbuck man was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Drew A. Zwayer, 31, formerly of 10087 Township Road 67, Apt. A, previously pleaded guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to a single count of domestic violence. In exchange for his guilty plea, a related charge of criminal damaging or endangering was dismissed by the state.
The domestic violence charge was made a fourth-degree felony because Zwayer, in 2013, was convicted of domestic violence in Holmes County Municipal Court.
As part of Zwayer's plea, he agreed to a joint sentencing recommendation of 15 months in prison, and the state agreed not to object to judicial release into a treatment program at the Stark Regional Community Correction Center after six months.
The deal also included a provision that Zwayer would plead guilty to a subsequent domestic violence charge, filed in municipal court, with any term of incarceration to be served concurrently to the felony case.
Noting Zwayer gave a "fairly blunt" description of the offense during his presentence interview with the adult probation department, defense attorney Jeff Kellogg said, "I understand the source of animosity with his father."
He also said Zwayer has had a long history of substance abuse, and, were it not for his substance abuse "we would not see him (in court)."
Zwayer told Judge Robert Rinfret he desires help with treatment and wants to "live the sober life."
"I don't want to live this drug life any more," he said, adding, "If I keep going on this path, I'm going to kill myself. And, I don't want my son growing up with the same image of me as I did my father."
To that end, he said, "I can't say I'm sorry" for engaging in domestic violence with his father. But, he said, "I don't want my son to grow up with the same anger for me that I have for (his own father)."
Rinfret agreed to adopt the jointly recommended 15-month sentence, noting he also would consider granting Zwayer early release into the SRCCC program, but "You're the only person who can do this."
"Some people can't drink," he told Zwayer, adding, "You can't ever drink because this is what happens."
In addition to the prison sentence, Rinfret ordered Zwayer to pay $275 in restitution, as well as all court costs and the fees and expenses of his court-appointed attorney.
The charges stem from an Aug. 22 incident at the South Washington Street home of Zwayer's 57-year-old father.
It was to that residence Millersburg Police were called, although they arrived to find Zwayer had already left the residence, according to Sgt. Matt Shaner, who said the victim told responding officers that he and his son had been arguing and he kicked his son out of the house.
He said his son then broke the screen door to get back inside and then assaulted him, striking him in the jaw, left shoulder and right shin, according to Shaner, who said the man sought subsequent treatment for his injuries at Pomerene Hospital.
Interviewed later, Drew Zwayer initially admitted to hitting his father, but then said he just punched the floor out of anger, according to Shaner.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.