LEBANON, Ohio -- Members of a Mason family accused of attempting to chop off the fingers of a woman in their home with pruning shears were found not guilty on all counts Wednesday.
A trial for Gerald Moore, Jr., 49, Shena Moore, 24, and John Gulley, 31, all of 740 Reading Road, began in Warren County Monday. The three faced felonious assault and kidnapping charges after the May 5 incident.
A jury found Gerald, Shena and Gulley not guilty. Each faced 19 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutor David Fornshell said Gulley was allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to Brittany Rager and Moore invited her over to discuss the issue, according to the Middletown Journal.
When she arrived, Gerald was accused of hitting Rager with a cane while Shena started punching her. They eventually pinned her on the ground and tried to cut off her fingers with the pruning shears, police said.
Shena took the stand Tuesday for the first time for cross-examination and said she pushed Brittany but claimed Brittany hit her first and refused to leave her home.
Fornshell said Rager, who works with her hands for a living, was able to kick Gerald, causing him to fall down. When Shena went to help him, Rager got up and Gulley allegedly “whacked” her in the head with the shears, leaving a gash, authorities said.
Officers said the three dialed 911. After the incident, Rager required staples in her forehead, suffered a concussion and had other cuts and bruises from the beating she took, Fornshell said.
Shena, Gerald and Gulley are each being represented by a different attorney.
While testifying Monday, Rager said the incident developed over suggestive messages sent by Gulley.
“(He) was sending me sexual texts and I wasn’t very comfortable, so I kind of stopped talking,” Rager said.
Rager said she showed up at the trailer to patch things up with her former friends.
“(Gulley) walked outside and was waving me in,” she said.
She said she went in and Gerald hit her with his cane, and Sheena was holding shears.
“(Sheena’s) dad told her to cut my (expletive) hands off,” Rager said.
Members of the defense team argued Rager could have run away, but didn’t because she came to the home looking for a fight.
Rager admitted she was on medication and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.