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Man gets 7 years for SUV attack

A Talent man was sentenced Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court to more than seven years in prison after a jury found him guilty of assault for running over a man with his SUV.

Circuit Court Judge Timothy Barnack sentenced Robert Lee Chaffee, 64, of the 200 block of West Rapp Road, to a mandatory minimum prison sentence and ordered him to pay restitution estimated at nearly $24,000. A jury convicted Chaffee two weeks ago of first- and second-degree assault in the vehicle attack.

On Oct. 5, Chaffee seriously injured Richard Hoglen, who was 47 at the time of the attack, after Chaffee reportedly drove his 2015 Nissan Pathfinder to Hoglen's Phoenix home, ran Hoglen down before crashing through a 16-foot-long farm gate and taking the gate off its hinges while Hoglen was underneath, according to Deputy District Attorney David Orr.

Hoglen suffered numerous injuries in the attack, according to Orr, including a broken leg, twisted ligaments and severe abrasions caused by being dragged through gravel under the gate and under the vehicle. Orr said Hoglen had intended to appear at the hearing but "wasn't doing very well" Thursday.

"It was a long and unpleasant ordeal for him," Orr said. During the hearing, Orr said Hoglen was unhappy that the jury acquitted Chaffee of an attempted murder charge in the case, though he clarified that first-degree assault carries the same 90-month mandatory minimum sentence under Measure 11 as attempted murder.

At trial, Chaffee argued that he only meant to scare Hoglen, but that the SUV traveled farther than he intended because the sudden stop activated the vehicle's anti-lock brakes. At trial Chaffee mentioned he had experience as a Hollywood stuntman.

Chaffee said he intends to pursue psychological therapy to address an ongoing anger problem.

"I do feel very badly that he got hurt, and I'm responsible for his injuries," Chaffee said. "I really disappointed my nine grandkids."

Barnack also sentenced Chaffee to 3 years of post-prison supervision, and Chaffee's license was permanently revoked because a vehicle was involved in the attack. The restitution amount was estimated at $23,911.10 for costs that include medical and ambulance costs.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Robert Lee Chaffee