Commonwealth v. Ralph Tobias Christian

Commonwealth v. Ralph Tobias Christian

Pulaski County Circuit Court

Record Nos. 14.271, 14.272

Cases Tried to a Jury by K. Mike Fleenor, Jr.


Malicious Wounding and Strangulation; Serving 80 Years

Ralph Christian is a career criminal that had committed numerous petit crimes over his lifetime and been in and out of jail since 1975. In April of 2014, his wife had borrowed approximately $2,000 from an elderly lady that lived in the same apartment complex. The agreement was that the Christians would pay her back at $50 per month. When they stopped paying, Christian’s wife agreed to work to pay off the loan. The defendant Ralph Christian and his wife visited the 89 year old at her apartment and discussed the loan. While we may not ever know the reason, Christian attacked the elderly lady by slamming her head into a set of closet doors and then choked her until she passed out. The victim appeared in Circuit Court in a wheelchair and testified that she thought he was trying to kill her. Ultimately the victim recovered and was able to use the phone to call a friend who contacted rescue squad.

The victim in this case suffered a broken and displaced neck in the attack as well as a broken leg. She was transferred to Lewis Gale in Salem and a neurosurgeon performed emergency surgery by inserting 4 screws and two rods to stabilize her neck and head. The medical testimony confirmed that she suffered “permanent and significant physical impairment” which is required to establish the crime of Aggravated Malicious Wounding. The jury took less than one half hour to find him guilty of the aggravated malicious wounding and the crime of strangulation. They imposed a well deserved sentence of 80 years to serve.
Southwest Times –

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