Local News

Man pleads guilty to attacking 75-year-old woman

Posted November 18, 2008

— A Harnett County man was sentenced to prison Monday for an attack on a 75-year-old woman last year, authorities said.

John Martin Meeks, 32, of Coats, was charged with attempted rape, burglary and assault in the January 2007 incident. He entered an Alford plea to charges of assault inflicting serious bodily injury and assault by strangulation.

An Alford plea allows a defendant to avoid admitting guilt while acknowledging there is enough evidence to convict him of a crime.

The woman's family members said she awoke on Jan. 30, 2007, and found Meeks standing in her room. They said she fought him off, bit his lip and called police.

Meeks told authorities he was experiencing a diabetic condition at the time and didn't know what he was doing.

He was sentenced to 10 to 12 months in prison on each charge, with the terms to be served consecutively. He also was ordered to pay $1,130 in restitution to the woman and to stay away from her.


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  • cajunlady Nov 24, 2008

    let me explain the real story. this man has type 1, juvenile diabetes. his medical charts read he is a diabetic phenomenon. autumnlee 38, if he was smoking crack instead of taking his "insulin", that is what educated people call diabetic medication, his blood sugar would have been high, not 35. When EMT got there his blood sugar was 35, diabetes is different in every person that has it depending on the severity of your case. Only 3% of people with any form of diabetes have it as a form as severe as Meeks does. Oh by the way it is documented that his wife called 911 before he ever came close to the victim's home. I am sure she said hey honey, why don't you go find an ederly woman to beat up and I will go ahead and call 911 for you. This man went to prison because he had a past. If he did not, this case would have never passed probable cause because every medical record from everyone involved that night states it was due to his diabetes. this should have been handled in civil court.

  • autumnlee38 Nov 20, 2008

    Please tell me what Statute that is! My mistake he is such a nice man even if he beat up an elderly woman. Oh, wait a minute, didn't he go to prison for assaulting a gov't official with a deadly weapon in 2000?? But, he is such a nice man. Yeah right, LOL!! Exactly what game are we playing, please tell me so I can get my controllers.

  • cajunlady Nov 20, 2008

    Take your own advice, and speak on what you know. The court records are public documents, and no where in them does it say anything about Meeks "smoking crack" - rather this sounds like an irrational accusation coming from you and your quick-to-judge cohorts. Nor did the defense attorney or even the district attorney ever once mention any drug use by Meeks. So, where exactly are you getting this from?? Your own judgmental assumptions? Right.

    Further, whether you agree or disagree with it, it is in the North Carolina General Statutes as well as common law of our state that a daibetic episode is SPECIFICALLY a defense to a crime. Thanks for playing.

  • autumnlee38 Nov 20, 2008

    CAJUNLADY, speak on what you know, as I have. The family did not demand to be escorted to their vehicles, they did not want an escort. The court officials saw how they were acting, ignorant, and wanted to do it. Yes, the defendant's story is that he chose to smoke crack over taking his "DIABETES" medicine. Was out of his mind on crack when he broke into this woman's home and attacked her. I agree his family is upset that he won't be home for awhile. I would be too, but, as I have stated before, if the defendant was one of my family members, I would miss him as well. But I would KNOW that he deserved what he got because he committed such a brutal attack.

  • cajunlady Nov 19, 2008

    I'm ashamed to be a part of the same community as the people in the previous comments. There are two sides to every story, and with only one to go by, it's amazing you are so quick to judge. No, the family did not have to be escorted out by police. Rather, they demanded that for effect. The defendant's family was crying and mourning their impending loss, not harrassing the victim.

    What about the so-labeled "child abuser" who shook his infant son so severely it caused brain damage? I guess we all want him thrown under the jail as well. What if you took a second to realize that this man was merely reacting in a panic when his child quit breathing?

    I am not a fan of violent criminals, nor do I condone people with medical conditions who try to use that as a crutch. But I am proud to be someone who can have sympathy for both sides, and recognize that it is not my place to judge a man who surely has his own story to tell.

  • autumnlee38 Nov 19, 2008

    She is actually 77 years old now. Just wanted to mention that the family of the defendant were making rude remarks to the victim and her family as well as the assistant district attorney after he was sentenced. They also made rude gestures during court. The family had to have a deputy to walk them to their cars. It just shows how ignorant this man and his family is. What part of beating an elderly lady until she blacks out do they not see as wrong??? If a member of my family committed such a brutal act, my love for them would not blind me into feeling they should not be punished. Yes he has diabetes, but he smokes crack as well. He and his family knows he is where he should be, I know he should have been there for 89 months instead of 14.

  • garnertoy Nov 19, 2008

    if he had done that to someone in my family he would have more than a busted lip

  • Scubagirl Nov 19, 2008

    not enough sentence, not enough restitution! What a crock of an excuse.

  • Autumn Nov 18, 2008

    Rev RB, I agree- it's outrageous! Anybody who commits a violent act upon an elderly person, a child, or an animal, deserves the maximum punishment!

  • Common Sense Man Nov 18, 2008

    What a joke. I would take the plea off the table and go to trial. He would have received at least 25 if found guilty. What a crock.