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Men sentenced for Portsmouth beating of war veteran

Union Leader Correspondent

May 16. 2012 1:10PM
Daniel May, 23, of Portsmouth pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in Rockingham County Superior Court Wednesday morning for beating an Army veteran outside a Portsmouth nightspot in July. He received a 2- to 5-year state prison sentence. (JAMES KIMBLE)

BRENTWOOD - Two men were sent to state prison Wednesday for beating a war veteran outside a Portsmouth nightclub in July.

One of the attackers, Daniel May, 23, expressed remorse and apologized for beating and kicking U.S. Army veteran Steven Bohn, while his co-defendant, Paul Hayes, 26, remained what a judge described as 'flippant' throughout Wednesday's hearings.

May was sentenced to 2 to 5 years in state prison, and Hayes drew a 2 - to 7-year sentence after both men pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Bohn, who suffered internal bleeding and a ruptured bladder from the July 16 beating, sat in the front row of the court gallery as both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced Wednesday.

'I still have complications I will have to live with for the rest of my life,' Bohn wrote in a statement submitted to the court.

Bohn, a Purple Heart recipient, had suffered from a ruptured bladder once before.

A suicide bomber detonated a 2,000-pound explosive near him just outside of Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2008, causing a building to fall on top of him.

Assistant county attorney Howard Helrich said Bohn was dancing at the Page Resturant in downtown Portsmouth on the night of July 16 when he bumped into either May or Jessica King, 33, who is also charged in the case.

May was thrown out of the club along with Bohn, but the two exchanged words out on the street.

Bohn walked away. May approached Bohn from behind and kicked him, Helrich said.

Hayes joined in by leveling a punch to Bohn's head, knocking him down.

'Both (May) and Mr. Hayes began kicking Mr. Bohn while he was on the ground,' Helrich said.

Police say that King joined in the assault, along with Anna Battle, 21, of Portsmouth, both kicking Bohn as well. The two women are currently scheduled for trial.

An off-duty Raymond police officer stopped the assault when he came upon the scene, Helrich said.

Judge N. William Delker chastised May and Hayes during Wednesday's hearing. He said to May, 'You participated in an incredibly vicious attack that was totally unwarranted.'

Delker told Hayes he was reluctantly accepting his plea deal. He said despite Hayes' 'somewhat flippant attitude' in court, he approved the plea because it wasn't much different from a maximum sentence.

(For more on this story, see Thursday's edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader.)

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