Man not guilty in unborn child's death, cleared of felony assault

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A Marion man arrested in 2014 and charged with assaulting his girlfriend and killing her unborn child was cleared of the most serious charges during a trial last week.

Jackie Taron Agnew, 43, of 131 Circle Street EM, Marion, was found not guilty of assault on a female, assault by pointing a gun and assault by strangulation in McDowell County Superior Court. He was found guilty of simple assault and interfering with emergency electronic communication. He was sentenced to 210 days in jail and given credit for the 233 days he was jailed.

On Dec. 29, 2014 at or around 12:10 a.m., officers with the Marion Police Department responded to McDowell Hospital in reference to a prior assault that occurred at 131 Circle Street. The 26-year-old victim, Monika Credle, was reportedly 17 weeks pregnant at the time of the alleged assault. She told police that Agnew had strangled and pointed a gun at her at their home on Circle Street.

Credle said she and her 8-year-old daughter, who was in the house at the time of the assault, were able to leave the house and were transported to McDowell Hospital. According to police, Credle lost her unborn child as a result of the event.

The following day around 2 p.m., Agnew turned himself in at the McDowell County Courthouse and was placed under arrest. He was given a $175,000 bond and indicted one year later.

The charge of murder of an unborn child was dismissed by the district attorney in February 201, according to his attorney.

Agnew’s trial on the other charges began on Wednesday, Jan. 25 of this year.

Attorney Mike Edwards was originally appointed as Agnew’s defense attorney, but subsequently withdrew after Agnew refused to accept a plea. Edwards was replaced by Krinn Evans prior to the trial beginning.

On Wednesday morning, the state called four witnesses, including Credle, her now 10-year-old daughter, a co-worker and Sgt. Detective Rick Gutierrez of Marion P.D., according to Evans.

“Under cross-examination, the alleged victim (Credle) admitted that she gave numerous stories to law enforcement and medical staff including different details to multiple people that night,” said Evans, who maintained that physical evidence did not support Credle’s assertions against Agnew.

According to Evans, Detective Gutierrez testified under cross examination that he had witnessed no signs of physical injury to the alleged victim’s face or throat on the night of the incident and several days later when he saw the victim again.

The following day, Agnew stated under oath that he had left the residence at approximately 1 p.m. on the date of the incident after he and Credle agreed to move her out, according to his testimony, he returned home between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. to find the alleged victim still at the residence, where the argument resumed. Then, Agnew claimed that following treatment at the VA Hospital for minor injuries during the altercation, he returned to McDowell County the next day learning that he was wanted on multiple felonies and misdemeanors.

“Mr. Agnew denied strangling and assaulting the alleged victim during testimony,” said Evans. “The only contact that he admitted to was brushing past Credle as he was trying to exit the residence.”

The jury began deliberations at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday, but no verdict was reached. The following day, the jury came back and reached their verdict at 10:15 a.m.

“My client and his family are ecstatic that he was acquitted on the felony and numerous misdemeanors, and that the two convictions were satisfied with pre-trial confinement credit,” said Evans. “He was able to walk out of the courthouse in the company of his family to return home.”

Clarification: This story has been edited to clarify that the death of an unborn child charge had been dismissed in February 2016.