The Times West Virginian

Local News

November 19, 2010

Fairmont man acquitted on malicious assault charge

FAIRMONT — Matthew Paul Cross will not be punished for stabbing Fairmont Detective Matt Lewis with a hypodermic needle last year following a jury’s acquittal on a malicious assault charge Thursday.

Cross, a 31-year-old Fairmont man, went to trial in Marion County Circuit Court facing a charge of malicious assault on a police officer stemming from the Sept. 30 incident, which occurred in the midst of a shoplifting arrest at the Morgantown Avenue Dairy Mart.

After a short trial before Judge David R. Janes, and an equally short jury deliberation, jurors acquitted Cross on all potential charges. This included the lesser offenses of both unlawful wounding and battery on an officer.

Marion County Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Freeman represented the state and defense attorney Tom Kroger represented Cross during the half-day trial. The trial consisted of testimony from only Cross and Lewis, who gave slightly different accounts of what happened that night.

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