Jesse Cole Shuping, 28, of 7900 N. Nevada Drive, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He pleaded guilty Monday to the lesser charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault inflicting serious bodily injuries in the Aug. 13, 2010, beating of 66-year-old Kue Tai near the intersection of New Light and Ghoston roads.
Shuping was sentenced to between 49 and 67 months in prison and more than two years of probation.
"I am so sorry. I never meant for this to happen. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me," Shuping said to Tai.
Defense attorney Robert Padovano said Shuping has little recollection of what happened that day.
The attack occurred after Shuping's girlfriend claimed a man tried to rape her in the woods, Padovano said. The incident sent Shuping into a rage.
"I took off (and) saw a man walking away. She said, 'That was the guy,'" Shuping said. "I asked him, 'What did you do to my girlfriend?' It seemed he was laughing."
Shuping said he remembers hitting Tai. "I have had to replay the incident over and over," he said.
Tai told authorities that Shuping said repeatedly that he was going to kill him.
"His attacker continued to hit, kick and punch him for what he described seemed like forever," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen said.
Tai's family members said he had to literally crawl to the road to get help after the attack. Tai had five broken ribs and cuts to his liver. He has lost vision in his left eye and hearing in his left ear and incurred more than $80,000 in medical expenses, Janssen said.
"He sees those eyes in his nightmares every night," Janssen said.
Tai, who speaks Mandarin, said through an interpreter that he plans to seek restitution at a later date.
Shuping said Tai was an "innocent victim" and doubts his girlfriend's story was true.
"It could have been a desperate cry for attention," he said.
Tai said he was moved by Shuping's apology and hopes he will turn his life around.
"After the apology, I am shaking. I am very happy," Tai said. "I hope that he will never harm another person. He harmed one person. He harmed an entire family."
Prosecutors said Shuping's hands and feet were deadly weapons, based on his military background, which includes six years with the military and one deployment to Afghanistan. Shuping was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse issues. He had been treated at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Durham, but not consistently, prior to the attack.
Padovano said Shuping has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He said his client needs medication for post-traumatic stress disorder and to undergo drug and alcohol counseling.
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