Man sentenced to probation for cracking a person’s skull with a hammer

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George Martindale | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — A man who cracked another man’s skull with a hammer will spend one year on probation.

George Martindale, 47, was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation after his felony charge of aggravated battery was reduced to three misdemeanors. The prosecution said they agreed to reduce the charge because they couldn’t prove Martindale’s actions weren’t justified.

Martindale pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of battery and one misdemeanor charge of unlawful entry on January 29. He was sentenced February 14. Martindale has 88 days of county jail time hanging over his head.

According to Bonneville County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tanner Crowther, the man who was hit in the head didn’t file a complaint until weeks after the incident. He also said those involved gave conflicting testimonies regarding what happened.

Martindale claimed he hit the victim in the head because the victim was “choking-out” his son. The victim claimed he wasn’t choking the son out; rather, he was trying to get him to calm down. One of the others involved gave two different stories from the time the complaint was filed and the preliminary hearing.

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“We ended up where we did simply because there would have been factual disagreements on the severity of the choking,” Crowther said. “It was just an issue where we felt there was an inability, essentially, to prove it wasn’t justified.”

Martindale was arrested in November for hitting a man over the head with a hammer during a fight in June.

The fight revolved around George Martindale’s daughter, her boyfriend, and a friend, who is the victim in the case.

Court documents show Martindale’s daughter and her boyfriend were aggressively arguing at a home when Martindale arrived with his son. Documents show they began yelling and “going after” the boyfriend.

The victim was able to get between the boyfriend and Martindale’s son. The son allegedly tried to attack the victim, but the victim was able to put the son in a headlock and told him to calm down. That is when the victim “got dizzy all of (a) sudden.”

Martindale’s daughter later told investigators that while the victim held his son in a headlock, George Martindale came up and hit the victim in the head with a hammer, fracturing the victim’s skull. The daughter said she went over to try and pull the victim off her brother, and Martindale swung the hammer again, accidentally hitting his daughter in the ribs.

Martindale and his son left the home, and the daughter said she noticed she had blood all over her from the victim’s head, according to court documents.