Man gets five years in assault on woman

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Five years and nine months is the sentence handed down last week for the Marshall County man convicted in February for crimes including knocking his father's girlfriend to the ground and stomping her so violently that he left a "footprint' on her face.

While Jacqueline Allen, 55, was down on May 8 last year, John Patrick Vigneau, 37, stepped on Allen's face so violently that photos introduced as evidence show a "footprint" on her face, according to her testimony. Allen's injuries also required surgical replacement of a hip and her right femur.

During Vigneau's sentencing hearing last Wednesday, Probation and Parole Officer Jim Grimes testified that he asked the convict if he was sorry.

"Of course," Vigneau replied, according to Grimes. "It is a bad thing, but it would have never happened if she stayed out of my face."

When cross examined by Vigneau's lawyer, Bill Haywood of Lewisburg, Grimes added, "His sincerity and remorsefulness didn't seem very heartfelt."

Indicted on a charge of attempted murder, Vigneau was convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter, and Judge Robert Crigler said Haywood "did an excellent job" defending Vigneau.

Yet Haywood's request that Vigneau be granted a split sentence was denied because "Confinement is needed to prevent depreciation of the seriousness of the offense," Crigler ruled. "These were horrendous injuries ... plus the victim was vulnerable."

Allen has been living with Vigneau's father, Vincent, for more than a decade on 20 acres along Finley Beech Road. During the trial, lawyers said the property is at the crux of conflict that led to the crime. Vincent Vigneau had placed Allen's name on the deed to his property, thereby giving her a right of survivorship.

"It's my understanding that there are 21 people on the deed," Grimes testified.

While property may have been a motive, some of the old cars parked on the 20 acres were presented during the sentencing hearing as another motive for the conflict.

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