April 23, 2014 — A Grayson man was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday for second degree assault.
Clifford Cathey, 35, appeared in Carter Circuit Court for his final appearance in a two-year criminal justice proceeding.
He was indicted in February 2012 in the New Year's Day beating death of Heath Toney.
Cathey's trial last December ended in a deadlocked jury. Rather than go to trial for a second time, Cathey changed his plea to guilty to a lesser charge.
Both Toney's sister, April Frazier, and mother, Wanda Toney, were allowed to address Cathey before his sentence was handed down.
“You are evil, and only Jesus or death can stop evil,” Frazier said. “We have had a lot stolen from us, but our faith in God is strong. Heath gained Heaven, but Hell waits for you. Mr. Cathey, I hate you, but God loves you. I hope that you can make a choice for yourself and for your children.”
“You are a liar, a murderer and a coward,” Toney said. “Heath was a good son, brother, and father. His children will have good memories of him but what will your children remember?”
Cathey was also given the opportunity to speak.
“I understand how you feel,” Cathey said. “If I were you, I would hate me. I just want to say I am sorry for your loss and I pray for your family.”
Judge Rebecca Phillips said that Cathey was not eligible for probation. He has already served two years of his sentence.
Leeann Akers can be reached at email@example.com or by phone 474-5101.