BOWLING GREEN - A former Bowling Green State University student who attacked her roommate with a hot clothes iron pleaded guilty yesterday in Wood County Common Pleas Court.
Sharronda Barkley, 19, of Twinsburg, Ohio, pleaded to felonious assault, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Paul Dobson, an assistant Wood County prosecutor, told The Blade that, based on Barkley's mental health, he planned to recommend community control sanctions rather than prison time.
"As skeptical as I am about mental health issues being the cause of crime, I think this is about as clear a mental health case short of competency or not guilty by reason of insanity," he said. "I think the facts speak pretty clearly that she was dealing with some mental health issues that I don't think are going to be resolved either for her personally or serve as a valid deterrent for other people by recommending a prison sentence."
Barkley assaulted BGSU roommate Heather Haase on Aug. 23, 2005 - just a day after fall classes began for the two freshmen. Ms. Haase told campus police she had returned to the dorm room she shared with Barkley at Anderson Hall about 1:30 a.m. when Barkley accused her of having a hidden camera in the room. Barkley then began hitting her with a hot iron, striking Ms. Haase so hard the iron broke into two pieces.
Since the attack, Barkley has been prohibited by court order from having any contact with Ms. Haase or the BGSU campus.
Barkley's attorney, Alan Konop, said after the hearing that his client was "emotionally distraught" at the time of the assault.
"She really feels great remorse for what she did," he said. "She was at the time having serious psychological problems, for which she is still receiving treatment."
Mr. Konop said Barkley is currently employed and plans to apply for enrollment in another college in the near future. She will not return to BGSU.
Mr. Dobson said Ms. Haase agreed to his recommendation that Barkley continue to get psychological help rather than go to prison.
Judge Reeve Kelsey ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 6.