E'town man sentenced to 17 years in stabbing

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By Sarah Bennett

Raymond K. Wilson was arrested April 12, 2012, on a charge of attempted murder following a stabbing at a birthday party on Easter Sunday.

On Tuesday — nearly a year after his arrest — he was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Wilson, 52, was convicted in February of first-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence. According to police and witnesses, he stabbed Gerald Wayne Tharpe during a physical altercation at the birthday gathering.

The jury recommended 15 years for assault and two years for tampering. Those sentences are to run consecutively for a total of 17 years.

At a formal sentencing Tuesday, Wilson’s attorney, public defender David Stewart, asked Hardin Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton to reduce that sentence to 10 years, which is the minimum for a Class B felony in Kentucky.

Stewart called the jury’s recommendation “unduly harsh.” Wilson did not initiate the fight, he said.

The attorney added Wilson has “people who love him” and suffers from health problems.

“We ask the court to consider the facts of the case,” Stewart said.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Logsdon objected to the request, citing the severity of Tharpe’s injury. The stabbing caused lacerations to his liver and colon and required two surgeries. Logsdon described the wound as “near fatal.”

“Undoubtedly, Mr. Wilson has a family affected by this, but we also have a victim who is affected by this,” she said.

Before issuing the sentence, Easton asked Wilson to elaborate on a statement he made in a pre-sentence investigation report in which he claimed his attorneys didn’t present “all the evidence they should have.”

Wilson said he received phone calls and a letter from Tina Ogle, the woman who hosted the gathering last April, that indicated he was lured to the party and set up.

Easton ultimately sentenced Wilson to 17 years. The judge said he respected the jurors’ unanimous decision and only an “extraordinary situation” would cause him to deviate from their recommendation.

“It is very fortunate for the victim, Mr. Wilson and everybody else involved that the victim did not die because he was very close to it,” Easton said.

This marks Wilson’s third felony conviction, he said, and the judge believes there is a need for a period of confinement.

If Wilson chooses to appeal his conviction, Easton said a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after his judgment is filed.

Because first-degree assault is a Class B felony, Wilson will not reach parole eligibility until he has served 85 percent of his sentence.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.