EUGENE, Ore. — A grand jury indicted two men for the assault of a Eugene man, 18 months after the crime.
Bill McNamara and his fiancée Dawn LeCompte are still haunted by McNamara’s attack at their apartment complex.
“I believe they left me for dead,” said McNamara.
“I thought he was dead,” said LeCompte. “I thought I was going to walk up to him dead.”
McNamara says back on the night of the attack he heard a noisy group coming home from a nearby bar. He wanted the people to be quiet because he had to work the next day. He says he took the elevator downstairs to confront them.
“Do I regret [going downstairs]? I live there. They don’t. So no, I don’t regret going downstairs. I do regret what happened,” said McNamara.
“It’s just living next to a bar. It’s a common thing. People are being belligerent and loud, but never do you expect to go downstairs and be beaten,” said LeCompte.
That beating fractured McNamara’s skull and caused brain bleeding.
“The doctors said they didn’t know if he was going to come out of it,” said LeCompte.
McNamara did, and after that, the couple says they waited and waited for an arrest.
“I just thought they really didn’t care,” said McNamara.
“We didn’t think it was going to happen,” said LeCompte. “We just thought it was something that was going to be brushed off.”
Now, nearly a year and a half later, two people stand charged in that attack. Court documents show a grand jury indicted Mahlon Jackson and Nicholas Whaley on charges of second and third degree assault. The documents go on to say both of these men knowingly caused serious physical injury to McNamara.
“When I heard it, it really caught me off guard. I was really happy to finally hear that justice is being served,” said McNamara.
“It’s an awesome feeling to know that something is going to be done and that they actually do care about the situation because it is serious,” added LeCompte.
Erik Hasselman with the Lane County District Attorney’s Office says the charge falls under Measure 11, which means if these men are convicted they could face a sentence of up to 70 months in prison.
So why did this take so long? Hasselman said it was a combination of things but would not elaborate.
For McNamara and LeCompte, they credit each other and family for getting them through this.
“I am putting my energy towards more positive acts,” said McNamara. At the same time, he’s putting energy and a renewed faith in a system they thought had failed them.
The trial for the suspects is set for Dec. 10.