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Medford man who stabbed brother in the neck sentenced to six years

A Medford man accused of stabbing his brother in the neck during a fight in the Applegate in March has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Jeffrey Scott Gourneau II, 27, pleaded guilty in Jackson County Circuit Court Friday to third-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Judge Tim Barnack sentenced Gourneau to 72 months in prison and two years' post-prison supervision and ordered him to pay $68,000 in restitution for his brother Rodney Gourneau's medical bills.

"I think we've come to a fair resolution," said Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Lull.

Jeffrey Gourneau apologized for his actions in court while family members looked on in tears. His brother was not present, and prosecutors said they have not been able to reach him for several days.

The fight occurred March 4 near the McKee Bridge. The brothers had gotten into an argument and began exchanging punches. Jeffrey stabbed Rodney in the neck with a pocketknife. Defense attorney Paul Moser told the court the two had been drinking, which likely fueled the fight.

Jeffrey then drove Rodney to a fire station in the Applegate, where Rodney received treatment before being transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. A court affidavit states the injury damaged Rodney's spinal cord, which caused temporary loss of mobility in the right side of his body. Until recently, he has been in rehabilitation for his injuries.

"What the long-term prognosis is, I'm not sure," Moser said.

Natasha Gourneau, Jeffrey and Rodney's sister, said the incident would not have happened if the two brothers had not been drinking. She said Jeffrey doesn't remember the fight.

"I just think alcohol played a really big part in this," she said, adding the Jeffrey and Rodney were close. "We were all raised to take care of each other."

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

Jeffrey Gourneau