Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Swanton man gets prison time for stealing car, running over woman

A Swanton man who stole a woman's car then ran her over with it was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.

Duane Fane, 18, of the 4000 block of Waterville Swanton Road, pleaded no contest March 20 and was found guilty of felonious assault for the Jan. 15 attack on Machelle Thomas. Her legs were run over and her ankle broken.

“I will always have the nightmare of what happened to me on Jan. 15, 2018, in my mind,” Ms. Thomas told the court in a statement read by a victim's advocate. “I am more fearful and conscious of my surroundings when I go out. My job requires me to be on my feet eight to 10 hours a day, [but] I am not sure I will be able to [work] without pain and discomfort.”

Ms. Thomas, who is still using crutches to get around, asked the court to impose at least seven years in prison for Fane, who faced a maximum of eight years.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates told Fane his record wasn't “too bad, but you went big time as it relates to this particular offense. This caused a lot of damage to that lady and is a pretty serious crime.”

Dexter Phillips, an assistant county prosecutor, said Ms. Thomas had gotten off work at House of Meats and gone to a co-worker's house in the 3100 block of Glencairn Avenue to return her coat, which she had left at work. Ms. Thomas left her car running in the driveway and was talking to her co-worker at the front door when Fane jumped in her car.

Mr. Phillips said Ms. Thomas ran into the front yard waving her arms when Fane drove up over the curb and deliberately struck her. She was caught under the car and dragged, he said, and when the tire rolled over her legs, her ankles were crushed.

Defense attorney Jack Viren said Fane had a substance abuse problem and was “dope sick” when he stole the car. Fane apologized to the victim, saying he “didn't mean to intentionally hurt” anyone.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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