After a three-day trial, a jury deliberated for just over two hours Friday before convicting a Greencastle man on five charges connected to a September 2007 battery.
Jay C. Unger, 55, will be sentenced Jan. 15 on charges of Class B felony aggravated battery, Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon, Class D felony criminal recklessness and two counts of Class B misdemeanor battery. He could be sentenced to over 30 years in prison.
On Sept. 9, 2007, Unger, his brother-in-law, Jack Mace, and Unger's son, Jarod Unger, became involved in a physical altercation that ended with Jay Unger striking Mace in the head with a baseball bat.
Mace was injured so severely that he was flown from the scene of the incident via Lifeline helicopter. He sustained a broken jaw, fractured skull and fractured ribs. He has suffered hearing loss and brain damage, court documents said.
Jay Unger also sought medical treatment after the fight. He suffered bruised ribs and a bruised eye.
Testimony at the trial corroborated court documents that said the altercation took place at the home of Mace and his wife Mary Jane, who is Jay Unger's sister. The fight began when Jay Unger was "in the face" of another of his sisters, Gene Ann Judy, who was also a witness to the scuffle.
Jay Unger first struck Mary Jane and then Gene Ann, knocking them both to the ground.
Jack Mace came out with a baseball bat and struck Unger in the back and shoulder area. Jarod Unger then jumped into the fracas, and Jay Unger managed to get the bat and hit Jack Mace with it.
On the stand, Judy said her brother-in-law's head "popped like a melon," and that after Unger hit him, Mace staggered and fell to the ground, bleeding profusely from the nose and ears.
Judy testified that she only saw her brother hit Mace once, but court documents said that "one of the two suspects struck Jack in the head with the bat and continued to hit him about his body."
By the time police arrived at the scene, the Ungers were gone. Officers later secured a search warrant for the truck the two men had been riding in, and discovered the blood-stained bat used in the attack on Mace.
The Ungers were both arrested and posted 10 percent of a $10,000 bond. After several hearings and continuances and the court's rejection on July 31 of a proposed plea agreement, Jay Unger's finally came to trial Wednesday.
The last action on Jarod Unger's case was the filing of a deferred prosecution agreement on June 30.
According to testimony and court documents, the impetus for the entire incident was an argument between Judy and Jarod Unger concerning the movement and placing of debris on the Unger family farm.
Jarod Unger told police there had been "an ongoing altercation concerning ownership and management of the family farm."
Jarod Unger also maintained that Jack Mace had picked up an iron rod and attempted to strike Jay Unger during the fight, and that "Jay attempted to block Jack's swing with the rod and the bat, that Jay was holding, slid down the rod and struck Jack in the head."
Jay Unger never denied striking Jack Mace with the bat.