Inmate convicted for assault over a candy bar

James Metellus

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James Metellus, 20, of Edgartown, was sentenced to 2.5 years in the Dukes County House of Correction, after he was found guilty of assault and battery in Dukes County Superior Court Wednesday.

According to court testimony, the assault began with a dispute over a candy bar between two inmates at the county jail, in Edgartown last August. Associate Justice Tina Page delivered the verdict after a two-day trial. She reduced the assault and battery charge. She acquitted Mr. Metellus of two other charges, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and mayhem. Mr. Metellus has a record of arrests, convictions, and parole violations for violent crimes in Boston, Lowell, on Penikese Island where he was a student at a school for troubled boys, and on the Vineyard. He first came to the Vineyard after his arrest on Penikese Island on assault charges.

“Your record is awful, just awful,” Judge Page told Mr. Metellus. She warned him that if he were arrested again, he would face a state prison sentence, instead of time in a county jail. “If you come back in Superior Court again, it’s very doubtful you’ll be going back to anyone’s House of Correction.”

Mr. Metellus was an inmate at the Dukes County House of Correction when he was accused of smashing another inmate, Gregg Gerathy, into a urinal, causing extensive facial injuries.

Mr. Metellus was jailed on concurrent sentences for three different crimes. He has approximately three more months to serve for those crimes. The sentence Judge Page imposed on Wednesday is not to be served concurrently; it will begin after his other sentences are complete.

Mr. Gerathy was in jail after he was convicted of driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol.