Pernell Deck, who has college degrees in culinary arts and business administration, plans to continue his education - in prison.
Deck, 52, of Wheeling, pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of malicious assault before Ohio County Judge James Mazzone. Mazzone followed a joint recommendation by Assistant Ohio County Prosecutor Gail Kahle and Assistant Public Defender James Tiu calling for Deck to be sentenced to two-to-10 years in exchange for the state not filing recidivist action against him.
Deck has previous felony convictions of sexual assault and drug charges, and the malicious assault charge makes him eligible for a life sentence under West Virginia's three strikes law.
Kahle said that sometime between the late evening hours of April 12 and early morning hours of April 13, Deck severely beat his wife at the Hil-Dar housing complex after a dispute over cellphone text messages Deck had received from another woman.
He said the victim did not immediately report the beating to police because she knew Deck could be facing a life sentence.
Kahle said the woman suffered severe facial damage as a result of the beating. Deck told the court he did not hit the victim, but he threw her down, causing her face to strike metal bars.
In a statement to the court, Deck apologized for the attack, which he said would only be words without true meaning unless he takes positive action to turn his life around. He said he plans to get more education in prison and work to make sure he does not re-offend when he gets out.
"No amount of money or government programs will turn you around," Mazzone said. "It has to start with you."