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Published: Tuesday, 9/25/2007

Assaults bring prisoner 4 years

A Lucas County jail inmate who assaulted a corrections officer and two deputies last year while incarcerated on a felonious assault charge will spend four years in prison after he was found guilty yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Robert Bankston, 38, who has no permanent address, pleaded no contest to one count each of assault on a peace officer and felonious assault. Judge Denise Ann Dartt found him guilty and sentenced him to four years for the felonious assault and 17 months for the assault, ordering them to be served concurrently.

County Assistant Prosecutor Tim Braun said Bankston was being held at the Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare on Jan. 22, 2006, when he became irritated with his roommate, who was switching the lights and turning the faucet on and off, and so he began beating him in the face.

The victim, who was not competent to testify in the trial, suffered a broken jaw among other injuries, Mr. Braun said.

Bankston was charged with felonious assault in the case and sent to the county jail, where, on March 8, 2006, he refused to enter his cell. Mr. Braun said Bankston then punched a corrections officer.

He also kicked a cell door closed on a deputy's fingers.

Bankston's attorney, George Gerken, said his client has responded well to medication and his ability to "handle appropriately things he doesn't like has increased."

Two other charges of assault were dismissed yesterday.

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