SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Sabine County grand jury indicted a 49-year-old Hemphill man on two counts of aggravated assault in connection to a brutal beating involving a sword that occurred at the Lakeview Recreation Park on Oct. 16.
During the assault, Neal John Shelton allegedly kicked, hit, and stomped his friend, Richard Barlow, 53. According to the indictment, Shelton also hit the victim with a sword and slammed his head into the gear shift of a car.
Shelton is still being held in the Sabine County Jail on two counts of first-degree felony assault and a misdemeanor interfering with an emergency call charge. Collectively, his bail has been set $510,000.
Chief Deputy George Griffith with the Sabine County Sheriff's Office said in a previous East Texas News story that the assault occurred after Shelton and Barlow got into an argument at the Lakeview Recreation Park in the Six Mile community.
According to the text of the indictment, Shelton allegedly caused serious bodily injury to Barlow by punching him in the head and face and then kicking him in the ribs and stomach. Shelton is also accused of stomping Barlow's head and slamming it into the gear shift of a car. In addition, Shelton allegedly hit Barlow in the head with a sword.
The text of the second indictment stated that Shelton also injured George Ann Ferguson, 60, of Bronson, by hitting her in the back of the head with the handle of the sword he used to beat Barlow because she had tried to break up the fight.
Griffith said Shelton continued to beat and stomp Barlow as the man lay unconscious on the ground.
Finally, Ferguson managed to load Barlow into her car and drove to the Sabine County Hospital, where they were both treated for their injuries Griffith. Barlow was then airlifted to a Tyler hospital for treatment. Soon after that, Barlow was taken to a hospice.
Barlow was taken off of life support on Oct. 25. Griffith said that Barlow is still alive, but he remains in hospice care and may never fully recover.