SIDNEY – A Sidney man found guilty of assaulting of former housemate has been sentenced to 150 days in the Shelby County Jail. It culminates a rare jury trial in Sidney Municipal Court, the first in six years.
On May 17, Bruce Upkins, 52, 122 W. North St. Apt F, was found guilty of assault, a first-degree misdemeanor. He assaulted Larry Franklin, 63, 416 S. West Ave., on Dec. 28, causing injury.
On June 5, Judge Duane Goettemoeller handed down the 150-day sentence and allowed Upkins to participate in the jail’s work release program. He was also ordered to pay a $200 fine and court costs.
Upkins was also ordered to have no contact with Franklin and must stay at least 500 feet away from his residence. Upon his release, Upkins will serve two years of probation.
During the trial, City Prosecutor Jeff Amick stood by the Sidney Police reports claiming Upkins assaulted Franklin at his home and left the residence. He was arrested later that evening at his fiancé’s apartment.
Franklin said Upkins had stayed with him for short periods of time in the past. The day of the assault, the pair had gone to Franklin’s uncle’s house and conduct minor repairs. The flare up occurred shortly before 5:30 p.m.
Witnesses said Franklin was assaulted viciously claiming Upkins became enraged when Franklin asked him to move out of his home. Online court records say Upkins (6-foot, 3-inches, 225 pounds) grabbed Franklin from behind as he was preparing a meal on the stove. Upkins lifted the slightly built (5-foot, 155 pounds) Franklin and “body slammed” him onto a kitchen table that broke in half.
Amick said police reports and personal testimony revealed that Upkins then punched Franklin four times in the head and face. He then collected his personal items and left the home with a former girlfriend.
Franklin’s son, Phillip Franklin, arrived just after his father was injured. Later at Wilson Health, the elder Franklin needed 11 stitches to close a head wound and two stitches in his eye socket.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.