The Ohio man found guilty earlier this year of breaking and entering and malicious wounding will serve 14 years in jail for those crimes, a Greene County judge decided on Monday.
Matthew Paul Serri, 41, has been in Central Virginia Regional Jail since his arrest in 2019. The attack took place in Greene County in 2018.
Christopher Graham, Serri’s attorney, filed motions in Greene County Circuit Court to strike the evidence from the jury trial regarding the breaking and entering and malicious wounding charges and from the jury trial regarding petty larceny that also occurred in Greene County on the same day as the attack. Graham asked for new trials for his client.
Graham argued that the only evidence presented for the malicious wounding and breaking and entering charge was the victim’s testimony. Additionally, he argued that the security officer’s testimony and a grainy video were the only evidence used to convict his client in the larceny trial.
“One witness, if believed, is more than sufficient evidence to convict,” said Greene County Commonwealth’s Attorney Edwin Consolvo.
Judge Claude Worrell ruled against both motions before sentencing. Graham called Serri’s father, Edward, to testify.
“He was a good boy,” Edward Serri said. He said his son had been a high school athlete and Eagle Scout and had gotten through the death of his mother at 14 and graduated.
“I’ll take him back. He has skills. He needs a shot. He has a lot of life to live,” Edward Serri said.
Consolvo noted that Matthew Serri “beat and choked someone to the point he thought he was going to die.”
Serri offered a statement for allocution but was too overcome with emotion to read it himself and instead submitted it to the judge.
“I see no reason to depart from the juries’ recommendation of 17 years,” Consolvo said. “He beat someone almost to death. He made these decisions as an adult.”
Judge Worrell said Serri was similar to many other people who became addicted to opiates after a prescription.
Judge Worrell also said Serri noted that he moved to Virginia in an attempt to get away from drugs, but that didn’t happen and then the assault and breaking and entering occurred.
“You asked the community to decide whether you are guilty and to sentence you,” Judge Worrell said. “I think, generally, juries get it right.”
Judge Worrell sentenced Serri to 13 years on the malicious wounding charge, suspending three years, and four years on the remaining charges. He also ordered supervised probation for Serri once he’s released from prison and that he remains on good behavior for five years after he’s released. Serri will get credit for the time served since his arrest in January 2019.