A man originally charged with attempted murder pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault this week after he allegedly stabbed another individual last year near Milligan College.
Joehanathan William Castle, 30, appeared in Carter County Criminal Court on Thursday before Judge Lynn Brown. He entered into a plea agreement, pleading guilty to aggravated assault and vandalism under $500. Castle was originally indicted on a charge of attempted second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and vandalism over $500 following the Sept. 16, 2011 stabbing incident.
Castle is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 11 for a probation hearing to determine whether he is eligible to serve his eight-year sentence in probation or jail. He had also been charged with failure to appear, but the case was dismissed.
The assault incident reportedly occurred on the morning of Sept. 16, 2011, when the Elizabethton Police Department responded to an area of W. Elk Avenue where they found a man covered in blood and said he had been assaulted at a residence along the Milligan Highway. The victim, David Ledford, said he was in the company of a woman, identified as Castle’s wife. He said he had driven into the driveway at 1676 Milligan Highway.
The EPD reported that Castle was hiding behind a parked car and approached Ledford’s vehicle. Castle allegedly then stabbed the vehicle’s right rear tire and then left rear tire. He then proceeded to the driver’s door, opened it and began punching Ledford in the head, according to an affidavit.
Ledford said Castle attempted to pull him from the vehicle, when he began to defend himself, kicking and pushing the suspect with his legs. Castle then allegedly produced a knife and stabbed Ledford in the throat and in the left chest. Ledford then fled the scene in his vehicle until the tires shredded.
The EPD said Ledford then stopped his vehicle and began flagging people for help. An individual then called 911. Police went to the Milligan Highway residence and arrested Castle. In addition, Merritt said Castle admitted to throwing the knife into a field.
According to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, the federal government continues to have a hold for Castle. It is not known why the federal government wants Castle.