to six months in work center
Convicted of brutal
beating outside bar
Express Staff Writer
convicted of beating a Casino bar patron into a coma last summer was
sentenced Monday to six months in a community work center and given a
suspended prison term of three to six years.
District Judge James May handed down the sentence against Boise resident
George Furlott, 28, at the conclusion of a hearing in district court in
A jury had
convicted Furlott in March of aggravated battery, following a trial that
produced contradictory versions of the events that occurred outside the
bar on Ketchum’s Main Street last July.
witnesses said the 270-pound Furlott attacked intoxicated patron Kenneth
Nye, who weighs 150 pounds, by breaking a bottle against his head,
knocking him to the ground, then pummeling him in the face while his head
bounced off the concrete, according to one witness, "like dribbling a
basketball." Furlott and two of his friends contended that Nye had
punched one of them first, and Furlott moved in to defend him, but did not
hit Nye once he was on the ground.
was called to protect a friend and boss," Furlott’s attorney, Cheri
Hicks, said during Monday’s sentencing hearing. "He simply went too
that when Furlott saw his friend being attacked, instinct took over.
Prosecuting Marilyn Paul contended that "it is not instinct to beat
an unconscious person until he is almost dead."
requested a minimum sentence of a fixed eight-year prison term.
hard to conceive of a clearer case showing why there is a 15-year maximum
penalty for aggravated battery," she said. "We believe that this
is a case where the maximum penalty is warranted."
pointed out that Furlott had already been convicted in Ada County of
misdemeanor battery and malicious injury to property, by kicking in the
door of a police car, and had pleaded guilty to a petit theft charge
reduced from felony burglary.
behavior has not changed for the better, and in fact it has
escalated," Paul said.
May to take into consideration the fact that Furlott’s wife and three
children depend on him for financial support.
told May that he had never "felt so bad and so sorry."
want to raise my kids the right way," he said. "I won’t ever
get into this situation ever again."
announcing his sentence, May said he was not inclined to believe the
defense’s version of events that July night, pointing out that Nye was
there had been a recent rash of aggravated assaults and batteries in the
area, referring to a knife-wielding assailant on the bike path and a woman
who went to a Ketchum police officer’s home with a loaded gun.
trouble with aggravated assaults and aggravated batteries is that they
come close to homicide," May said. "The defendant did viciously,
with uncontrolled anger, continue to strike the victim. So far as the
court is concerned, death was a distinct possibility."
May said he
would retain jurisdiction over the defendant until he reads a report from
the work center at the end of Furlott’s stay there. That means he will
review the case, and could impose a prison sentence if Furlott receives a
interview following the hearing, Hicks said she was happy with the