The Richmond Register

March 25, 2012

First-degree assault case heads to mediation

Register staff report

RICHMOND — A case in which a man was shot in the face after he and a friend were twirling guns is headed to felony mediation.

Madison Circuit Judge Jean C. Logue agreed to approve a motion for mediation when Denver Rearick, 28, appeared Thursday in court for a status hearing. Rearick’s attorney, Michael Eubanks, and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Smith both said mediation was desirable in the case.

Rearick was scheduled to stand trial April 9 for first-degree assault. The charge carries a possible sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.

Felony mediation is a process in which the defense and prosecution present summaries of their case to a senior judge, who presides over the closed-door process. The judge assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the case and talks with the attorneys, victim and defendant about what punishment and/or restitution they feel would be appropriate. The goal is for both sides to come to a mutual plea agreement without the case going to trial.

Rearick and Matthew C. Richie were intoxicated Jan. 22, 2011, when they decided to twirl the guns, according to the Kentucky State Police. Richie was shot in the face by a .45 caliber pistol owned by Rearick. He survived the injury, but reportedly went through a lengthy rehabilitation.