10/25/13 A Marshall County jury deliberated an hour and a half on Wednesday, after which it found Mark Selner guilty of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class C felony. After hearing a day and a half of testimony, the jury returned its verdict to presiding Judge Robert O. Bowen of Marshall Superior Court No. 1.
The case began on February 9, 2013 in the Marshall County Jail. Selner was accused of beating James Haddox, both inmates in the county jail awaiting disposition of charges previously filed against them. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman presented evidence consisting of a video of the altercation inside the jail, photographs of the injured Haddox, and medical records. Testimony came from Jail employees Mary Ann Martin, James Ore, and Chief Jailer Michael Mattern. St. Joseph Regional Medical Center emergency room nurse Lori Lambert testified about the extent and nature of Haddox’s injuries and his treatment. Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Larry Snyder testified about Haddox’s state of consciousness as he transported him to the hospital. Haddox was brought from the Westville Correctional Center to testify about his injuries and the few things he court remember.
Selner argued he acted in self-defense. Chipman emphasized to the jury that the video showed Selner sucker punched Haddox and inflicted a total of 22 blows within the space of 19 seconds. At least seventeen of the blows were struck while Haddox was laying on the jail floor. Haddox suffered a gaping wound to the head requiring 8 staples, an MRI, and pain medication.
Selner was charged with aggravated battery as a Class B felony that alleged Haddox’s injury created a substantial risk of death. The jury did not agree with that charge, but rejected Selner’s self-defense argument and found him guilty of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class C felony. Selner faces a possible range of imprisonment of a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 8 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Judge Bowen scheduled sentencing for November 14, 2013.