Buchanan County Man to Serve 10 Years in Prison for Attacking Wife with a Hammer
Paul Douglas Guffey, 65, of Grundy, Virginia, appeared in the Buchanan County Circuit Court last week to be sentenced on one count of Aggravated Malicious Wounding
During the hearing, Guffey’s wife testified that on December 23, 2012, Guffey had been drinking heavily all day, resulting in an argument between them. The argument intensified, by Guffey starting to punch and kick her. He later grabbed a handsaw, held her down on the bed, and started sawing into her skull. At some point, Guffey voluntarily stopped the attack, and began taking prescription medication in an apparent suicide attempt.
While Guffey was passed out, the victim had the opportunity to run to a neighbor’s home, who then transported her to the hospital. She testified that doctors had to remove saw teeth from her skull before they could close the several inch long and extremely deep cut in her scalp.
During closing arguments, Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington stated that Guffey’s case was one of the most brutal Aggravated Malicious Wounding cases that he had ever prosecuted. He argued that an active sentence of 20 years was appropriate and suggested that Guffey deserved a sentence that exceeds the highest end of the sentencing guidelines due to the sheer brutality of the crime. The Defendant presented mitigating evidence of possible bipolar disorder.
Ultimately, Guffey was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 30 years of that sentence suspended with indefinite supervised probation upon his release.
When asked for comment, Arrington stated, “This was a heinous and brutal crime. While I understand that Mr. Guffey suffers from potential mental health conditions, I felt that he was deserving of a very lengthy prison sentence. My hope is that he can get some mental health treatment while he is prison for the next several years. ”