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Man Convicted And Sentenced For Assault

Buffalo National River

National Park News

On Tuesday, May 25, 2010, park dispatch received a call regarding an assault that occurred on the day before along a section of the river between Steel Creek and Kyle's Landing. Ranger Billy Bell identified the victim as Jeff Matthews of Fayetteville, who reported he was assaulted by another man in the group, identified as Deaken Shuler.  Shuler attacked Matthews as he helped Shuler and his girlfriend launch their canoe during a float trip. Shuler repeatedly struck Matthews along the right side of his face and eye, fracturing the lens of his eyeglasses and driving the lens fragments into his face and eye socket, resulting in serious injury to his eye. With the assistance of NPS special agents, Shuler was tracked down after a six month investigation and difficulty in locating witnesses, several of whom were uncooperative during the investigation. Shuler was charged under 18 USC ยง 113 and found guilty of assault. On January 19th, he was sentenced to 24 months probation, assessed $260 in fines and costs, and ordered to pay $1,108.62 in restitution to the victim.



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