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Men Plead Guilty to Brutal Assault

EUGENE, Ore. — Two men pleaded guilty to the brutal assault of a Eugene man just as they were set to go to trial.

Nearly a year and a half ago, Bill McNamara was badly beaten in the lobby of his apartment complex. Charges weren’t filed until a couple of months ago, and the trial was supposed to start Tuesday. Instead, the suspects struck a deal and pleaded guilty to their charges.

Nicholas Whaley pleaded guilty to felony assault in the second and third degree and agreed to a sentence of four years in state prison. The state is allowing Whaley to be released for three weeks pending his sentencing.

Mahlon Jackson pleaded guilty to felony assault in third degree. He will be put on three years supervised probation with 20 additional days in jail. He’s been on electronic surveillance for about four months now.

Both men have been ordered to repay all the medical bills for Bill McNamara, who suffered brain bleeding and a fractured skull.

Whaley’s serving more time because he has several prior convictions, including assaults.

Official sentencing is set for Jan. 6.

KEZI 9 News spoke with McNamara’s fiancĂ©e, and she says they are both happy the men did “the right thing and pleaded guilty and that finally justice has been served.”

As far as why the men decided not to go to trial and make this plea, Lane County Attorney Erik Hasselman says there were a couple of factors. There were some witnesses who were unavailable to the trial, and this plea nearly guarantees finality in the case. There’s nothing to appeal when an agreement is reached. Hasselman says McNamara agreed to the men’s plea as well.

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