Preston man sentenced for baseball bat attack, gets 5-20 years

KINGWOOD — A Preston County man who was accused of hitting a woman with a baseball bat and strangling her was sentenced to five to 20 years in prison.

Under a plea agreement, Clayton Eugene Eagle, 46, pleaded guilty to four counts of third offense domestic battery. The penalty of domestic battery is one to five years in prison. One of the four counts was enhanced to two to five years.

In October 2017, the Preston County Sheriff’s Department char-ged Eagle with malicious wounding and strangulation.

According to the criminal complaint: Police went to a Blazer Road residence for a domestic dispute. They spoke to the woman, who thanked them for responding.

The woman had injuries including bruising and a knot on the forehead.

She told deputies that Eagle grabbed her, beat her with a baseball bat and kicked her. He also held her on the ground and wrapped a cord around her neck and strangled her. The woman told police she felt like she was going to die.

On Monday, Attorney James Shay asked the court to consider alternative sentencing. He said his client had not been given the chance to improve his life in the past.

“His mother loves him, and I believe with the proper guidance and help from his mother, it will keep him out of trouble,” Shay said.

Eagle’s mother, Ettie Hershman, told the court she didn’t allow drugs, alcohol or smoking at her house. “At my house, he behaves. It’s when he moves out he gets in trouble,” she said.

Eagle told the court he was sorry for what he had done and took responsibility for his actions.

“If you give me a chance, you won’t see me again,” he said. “I was doing good, and I got involved with the wrong person.”

Shaffer told Eagle if he had been convicted, he would have received a life sentence.

“It looks like you have beat on women your entire life,” Preston Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer said. “You’re receiving one heck of a break.”

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