A scuffle between two Roanoke relatives, in which one brandished a sword and the other a knife, has led to a felony conviction and prison time for the latter.
Caryl Lequan White, 25, was charged last spring with malicious wounding after cutting his uncle, George Ramey, during a disagreement.
Officers were called late April 3 to an apartment in the 100 block of Elm Avenue for a report of a man, Ramey, with “severe lacerations.”
At the bench trial that followed in October, prosecutors said Ramey had been talking with his mother and two nephews, including White, when White became irate.
In testimony, Ramey, 43, claimed he did not know why White was angry, but as the tensions grew, Ramey went into his apartment, took a decorative sword off the wall and carried it back outside, reportedly for protection.
The disagreement continued and Ramey said he eventually threw down his sword and challenged White to a fistfight, but then slipped and fell.
“That’s when I got gashed,” Ramey testified. While he was down, he was cut four times by White, prompting a hospital stay during which doctors used a vein from his leg to replace a damaged artery in his arm.
Judge William Broadhurst found White guilty but reduced the charge to unlawful wounding, citing Ramey’s decision to bring a sword into the spat.
On Wednesday, Broadhurst sentenced White to serve five years, but that will be suspended after 18 months.
White, who has been held since the incident, has already served about half his time. He will be on probation for three years.
Relatives said in court that White suffers from PTSD brought on by abuse, as well as schizophrenia, which requires medication.
“I do … sympathize with the trauma you’ve encountered. None of that was brought on by you,” the judge told White, but cautioned him to continue his treatments.
“All that responsibility is on you when you get out.”