JEFFERSON — An Ashtabula man was convicted Thursday in Common Pleas Court on charges of felony murder and felonious assault, after the man he attacked died from injuries.
David W. Champlin, 39 at the time of the incident, of 3834 Station Ave., was convicted in the death of Gregory C. Attkisson, 49, of Woodman Avenue, Ashtabula, by a six-man, six-woman jury, said County Prosecutor Thomas Sartini. The conviction followed a three-day trial.
Retired Geauga County Judge Fred Inderlied heard the case because Judge Ronald Vettel has been ill, said Sartini.
Sartini said he and his chief assistant, Harold Specht, tried the case.
“I have to give Harold a lot of credit. He did a lot of work. He prepared the case,” said Sartini.
Sartini described it as “felony murder” because the victim died during the commitment of a felony.
Inderlied immediately imposed the sentence of 15 years to life, as required by law. Sartini said the judge could have also imposed a fine of $20,000, but did not.
Champlin got in a fight with Attkisson on Aug. 22, smashing his head to the pavement.
Champlin was originally charged with felonious assault only, but it was amended to include murder after Attkisson died eight days later in the hospital.
The assault took place at West 38th Street, near Station Avenue. Champlin fled the scene but was later arrested by police.
A neighbor, Jerry L. Jones, said he heard Attkisson, also known as Mississippi Mike, say “I don’t want any trouble from you” to Champlin. Champlin then grabbed Attkisson and slammed him as hard as he could to the pavement. Jones said it sounded like an egg cracking.