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Man Sentenced To Three Years For Biting Off Nose Of Another Man

August 17, 1988

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay restitution to a man whose nose he bit off during a fight.

Aaron Witherspoon’s prison term was three times that called for by state sentencing guidelines, but Ramsey County District Judge Gordon Shumaker said it was justified by the ″particular cruelty″ of the attack.

The medical expenses of Gary Holter, 41, have exceeded $10,000 and will increase with further reconstructive surgery, Shumaker said. Holter was in the courtroom Tuesday when Shumaker sentenced Witherspoon.

Holter has been unable to work at his construction job since August 1987 because of the combined effects of earlier back surgery and his injured nose, according to court records.

Police said Holter was attacked March 24 by a man he didn’t know who taunted Holter in a grocery store and blocked his way at the exit. The assailant kicked Holter, who responded with a punch, and the two fell to the sidewalk scuffling. The man then grabbed Holter’s head, bit off an inch-wide portion of his nose and fled.

Holter took the severed tip of his nose to St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center but doctors told him that it couldn’t be reattached.

Witherspoon was arrested three weeks later. Last June, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault involving a dangerous weapon, his teeth.

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