Winchester man gets 15 years for three assault cases

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Winchester man who once threatened to eat a Winchester Police officer and hit Jailer Frank Doyle in the mouth will serve 15 years for three separate assault charges.

Brandon Hocker, 29, pleaded guilty to three charges of second-degree assault and a charge of third-degree terroristic threatening in Clark Circuit Court Wednesday.

Hocker has been incarcerated almost constantly since he was arrested in May 2013 after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend during an argument. The wounds were not life-threatening and Hocker was arrested the following day.

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Since then, the case has remained in the court system, depending on whether or not testing showed Hocker was competent to stand trial.

Hocker’s mental state has been an issue since his first arrest, when he threatened to eat officer Christine Matthews.

In 2014, Hocker was found not competent to stand trial, the charges were dismissed and he was admitted for long-term medical care. When the facility was going to discharge Hocker, the charges were reinstated and he was returned to Clark County’s jail, where he remains.

Since his initial arrest, Hocker was indicted for two other assaults: one where he is accused of hitting another prisoner at the jail and for assaulting Doyle in August 2015.

Hocker told Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse Wednesday another inmate told him he would “beat his ass.”

“I just decided I would get him before he got to me,” Hocker said.

In August 2015 following one of Hocker’s appearances in Clark Circuit Court, Clark Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue continued the cases to allow for a competency hearing. Hocker became agitated and began arguing with the judge.

Once bailiffs escorted Hocker outside the courtroom, Doyle said Hocker, who was handcuffed, swung at him with both hands. One of the cuffs caught Doyle in the mouth, causing a wound which took 20 stitches to close.

Bailiffs and deputy jailers tackled Hocker to the floor as he continued to struggle. At one point, they used a Taser to bring him back under control. He was eventually led back to the jail without further incident.

Hocker said he elbowed Doyle because he grabbed him.

Hocker took a plea bargain from the Commonwealth that dismissed three persistent felony offender charges.

The Commonwealth recommended five years for the assault of his girlfriend, five years for the assault of the other inmate and 12 months for the terroristic threatening charge to run concurrent for a total of five years.

For the assault of Doyle, Hocker will receive the maximum sentence of 10 years to run consecutive to his other sentence for a total of 15 years. He will have to serve 20 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

He will be formally sentenced May 11.