The Richmond Register

September 22, 2012

Man admits to holding sword, but not using it

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — A man who reportedly threatened his girlfriend with a samurai sword in January was granted two years conditional discharge Thursday in Madison Circuit Court after pleading guilty to lesser charges.

Russell M. Masters, 42, of Richmond, originally was charged with two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony; fourth-degree assault (domestic violence with minor injury) and resisting arrest, which both are Class A misdemeanors.

The first-degree wanton endangerment charges were amended to second-degree wanton endangerment, carrying a sentence of 12 months on each count.

The other charges were dismissed.

Masters was taken to the Madison County Detention Center Jan. 25 and held under a $10,000 cash bond. He was released by court order April 9, according to detention center personnel.

“There was a despute with his girlfriend and her father,” said Masters’ attorney Brian Barker. “This occurred at the house Mr. Masters was renting from the family.

“At some point during the dispute, he had a samurai sword. His statement to me was that the sword didn’t leave the sheath. He also had a baseball bat. There might have been some minor bruising on the female’s neck. That’s what he’s admitting to.

“A verbal argument took place. At one point, he was armed with a sword and at one point he was armed with a (baseball) bat. He did serve 78 days and he does not have a bad (criminal) record.”

Barker asked Clouse to consider conditionally discharging Masters for the next two years, provided the defendant has no contact with the woman or her father.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Paco Villalobos told the court Masters grabbed his girlfriend by the hair, unsheathed the sword and stabbed toward her twice. Villalobos also said Masters grabbed the baseball bat, hitting her father in the arm.

Clouse agreed to the conditional discharge but ordered that Masters forfeit his sword.

“Make sure that sword gets off the street,” the judge said.

Barker assured Clouse the the Richmond Police Department had possession of the samurai sword.



Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.