Man accused of assaulting girlfriend takes plea deal

·2 min read

Oct. 12—LIMA — A Lima man accused of assaulting his girlfriend and threatening her with a loaded handgun pleaded guilty Tuesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to drastically reduced charges.

Damariante Dillingham, 26, was indicted in May on two counts of aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies with three-year firearm specifications attached.

With a scheduled jury trial just one week away, Tuesday's hearing provided a resolution to the case when Special Prosecutor Al Smith offered Dillingham the opportunity to plead guilty to an amended count of aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony. In exchange for that plea, the prosecutor dismissed the aggravated robbery charge and both firearm specifications.

Judge Jeffrey Reed accepted the plea and set sentencing for Nov. 30.

According to court documents, officers from the Lima Police Department responded March 24 to the Lake Circle Apartments in response to a reported assault. Upon their arrival, they spoke with Honesti Mayes, who said she had been assaulted by Dillingham.

The woman said she drove Dillingham from Cheryl's Bar back to her house. While in the parking lot, Dillingham asked her to have sex, she told police. When she denied the request, he grabbed her wallet, keys and phone and began to exit the vehicle. Mayes told investigators she attempted to retrieve her property, but Dillingham grabbed her by the throat, threw her into the back seat of the car and punched her in the face. He then pulled a black Glock pistol from his pocket and pointed it at her, the woman said.

At a hearing earlier this summer Dillingham's attorney, Chima Ekeh, said he believed the woman would recant statements made to police surrounding the incident. Smith said he believed the defendant had reached out to the alleged victim to persuade her to do that.

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