By Jeff Lehr
Bobby D. Sweeney accepted a plea deal Monday that will send him to prison for six years for seriously injuring another man in a stabbing two years ago in Carthage.
Circuit Judge Gayle Crane assessed Sweeney the prison term after the 35-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to a reduced count of second-degree assault at a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin.
Sweeney had been facing charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in the stabbing of Mark Kimberlin on May 25, 2011, in the 500 block of Olive Street in Carthage. His plea deal with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office called for dismissal of the count of armed criminal action.
Kimberlin was cut on his hand and his nose when Sweeney took offense to something Kimberlin said and came after him with a knife, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in 2011.
Sweeney and his wife and children were at the home of Kimberlin’s estranged wife when he went to visit her the night in question. They were consuming alcohol together before an argument erupted.
Kimberlin claimed Sweeney got upset for no good reason, and caused him to leave the house and start walking toward his father’s home. He told the court that Sweeney came running up behind him before he got a block away and swung at him.
Kimberlin said he did not at first realize that Sweeney had a knife or that the first swing cut him on the nose. He said he raised his hand to stop a second swing and received a much deeper and more severe cut that almost severed the hand. He told the court the injury caused him to lose much of his use of that hand.