Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
Man gets 4.5 years for brutal beating
A Woodford man will spend 4 1/2 years in prison for severely beating a man and leaving him to die in a ditch.
Shane Aubin Nerschl was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years with all but 4 1/2 years suspended in Caroline County Circuit Court. He was convicted by Judge Joseph Ellis of aggravated malicious wounding in February.
Ellis said he ruled within the low end of the guidelines because Nerschl, who’s wife is battling cancer, has stayed out of trouble and received his General Education Degree while in jail.
On May 28 of last year, Nerschl hosted a party at his home on Bowie Lane, where a small group of friends were drinking and playing music.
According to testimony from several witnesses during the trial, Scott Dunning of Spotsylvania got into a disagreement at the party with Reginald Richardson of Fredericksburg, then later came up behind Richardson and stabbed him twice in the chest with a pocketknife.
Richardson said that after he was stabbed, he punched Dunning twice, knocking him unconscious, then left the area to tend to his wounds.
Richardson had been a co-defendant in the case and had spent eight months in jail awaiting trial, but charges against him were dropped.
Larry Booth, a mutual friend of Nerschl and Dunning, testified at trial that while the victim was unconscious, Nerschl proceeded to punch him in the face, stomp him with his boots and urinate on him. The victim was left lying in a ditch on the side of the road near the intersection of Woodford Road and Bowie Lane.
Booth said Nerschl “threatened to kill me and eat my spleen if I told anyone.”
He said he later returned to the area where the victim had been left, found Dunning a short distance away and called 911.
Dunning, who said he is a tattoo artist, testified at trial that he has no memory of the stabbing, the beating or what happened that day. He said all he remembers is waking up in the hospital, unable to talk or swallow.
He testified that he suffered a broken jaw, sternum and ribs, a deflated lung, a fractured skull and a crushed throat, and that he also lost two teeth and one of his vocal cords as a result of the beating.
“I had a four-bedroom home, 7 acres of land and a full-time job, but since this has happened I’m homeless because I can’t work,” he told Ellis in February.
Nerschl did not take the stand during the trial.
“Mr. Nerschl was justified in being upset that his friend was stabbed, but nobody deserves to be beaten when they’re unconscious the way the victim was in this case,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Tony Spencer.