ALBANY, Ore. – A Lebanon man was sentenced on Tuesday to more than 13 years in prison for his role in the assault of a man with cerebral palsy.
Last month, a Linn County jury convicted 20-year-old Jesse Jimenez for assisting his friend, 18-year-old Trevin King, for assaulting 49-year-old Ronald Whitehead then stealing his bike. In February, King took a deal, pleading guilty to assault in the second degree and robbery in the first degree. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.
“Ron was just an innocent guy riding by on his bicycle,” said Alan Wise, Whitehead’s brother. “And now his life’s over.”
Whitehead is in a 24-hour care facility in Portland. He wears a diaper, is barely able to speak, and has a netted cover around his bed to protect him from falling out. Doctors say Whitehead likely will not get better.
Wise addressed the court on Tuesday, saying his focus is now on his brother’s recovery.
“All I care about is Ron’s future,” he said. “How much time Mr. Jimenez gets is not going to change anything.”
Jimenez also made a statement on Tuesday, apologizing for his role.
“Mr. Jimenez and Mr. King, they’re both going to get out of jail in 10-13 years,” Wise said. “And Ron’s not going to get out of any of what he’s in. This is a life sentence he got.”
Whitehead’s family says despite his condition, they feel a since of relief that the sentencing is over,
“It’s never going to end,” said Maria Wise-Toney, Whitehead’s niece. “But for this, there’s an end to it. We don’t have to come here anymore,” she said about going to the courthouse.
But the family also feels a sense of tragedy, not only for their own family, but for the family of both defendants.
“There’s tragedy on both sides of this,” Wise said. “It’s tragic for my brother that he’s virtually lost his life. But there’s tragedy for the families of these two gentlemen also. And you can see it in their family – they care a lot about both defendants in this case.”
Jimenez was convicted of assault in the second degree and robbery in the first degree: both Measure 11 crimes with mandatory minimum sentences. His family declined to comment.