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Joseph Lee Rosales
courtesy of Nathan Key, Legal Assistant for the District Attorney

Newton Man Sentenced for Assaulting Man in Hospital

23-year-old Joseph Lee Rosales of Newton will serve an active prison term of six-to-eight years following his conviction for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. Rosales pleaded guilty during Catawba County Superior Court on March 13 with the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, presiding. Rosales will serve his sentence in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

On February 24 of last year, Hickory Police Officers responded to Catawba Valley Medical Center regarding an assault. Officers reviewed a video recording, minus audio, of the incident. The video showed Rosales and a male victim watching television together. The victim walked across the room with his back to the defendant. Not long after, Rosales walked up behind the victim, put him in a chokehold, and pulled him toward the center of the room. The victim appeared to lose consciousness and slumped to the floor. Rosales then struck the victim’s face and head repeatedly with his fists. The attack stopped when a patient walked in and alerted hospital staff.

The victim required surgery for injuries sustained in the assault. The victim’s father told the court that the attack had changed the victim’s life dramatically; that he was not the same person. Rosales offered an apology to the victim’s family.

Richard Helderman investigated the case for Hickory Police Department. Nancy Lee handled the prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office with aid from Legal Assistant Amy Bishoff.