ECB Publishing, Inc.
A 28-year-old man who was scheduled for trial recently reached a resolution with the state days before his trial, averting the possibility of a longer sentence, if found guilty by a jury.
Joseph Wagner Livingston, who was scheduled for trial on Wednesday, June 28, pled no contest on Monday, June 26, to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon plus violating the conditions of his probation, on two earlier felony battery offenses.
Attorney David Collins, who represented Livingston, told Judge Dawn Caloca-Johnson that the resolution reached with the state entailed his client serving a year and a day in prison, with credit given for time served in jail.
The deal with the state included that Livingston would serve concurrent prison sentences on the three cases.
The judge accepted the plea, adjudicated Livingston guilty on the three charges, revoked his probation, and sentenced him to a year and a day in the Department of Corrections, with 60 or 63 days of jail time credited.
According to the arrest report, the incident in question occurred on April 17 of this year when a tow truck was dispatched to a Boston Highway address to retrieve a vehicle. Unable to make contact with the vehicle’s owner, the tow truck driver exited his vehicle and approached the mobile home residence. That’s when he heard a woman screaming for help and next saw her running toward him, chased by man (Livingston) who appeared to be holding a black-handled kitchen knife, “similar to a steak knife.”
The tow truck driver told the investigating deputy that Livingston chased him back to his truck and came within “maybe six or eight feet” of him, before he was able to get in his truck and get away.
The deputy wrote in his report that the driver “appeared shaken from the incident during the interview, he had body tremors and was stuttering while speaking.”
Too, the deputy wrote, the tow truck had sustained minor damage from the driveway as the driver “attempted to separate himself from Joe.”
According to the version of the story told by Livingston and the woman he had been chasing, they had been playing and she had playfully yelled for “help.”
Nor did Livingston carry a knife in his hand, the two testified. The woman, when asked directly by the deputy if Livingston had had a knife in his hand or anything that might look like a knife, responded, “no, he had nothing,” according to the report. She did, however, tell the deputy in response to another direct question that “black handled steak knives” were kept in the house.
Asked separately by the deputy if he had had anything in his hand when he had approached the tow driver, Livingston responded, “ya, my phone,” according to the report. Livingston further said he had been chasing the tow truck driver to tell him to take the vehicle he had come for.
Notwithstanding the testimony of Livingston and the woman, the deputy charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, whereupon he was transported to the county jail.