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Local News

December 3, 2013

Man gets 21/2 years for beating

SALEM — A beating last year that, but for the intervention of a roommate, could have turned fatal, has landed a Salem man in jail for 21/2 years.

Mark Blackburn, 50, formerly of 72 Bridge St., pleaded guilty yesterday in Salem Superior Court to charges that included assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault and battery. He received the sentence as part of a plea agreement that saw two more serious counts, attempted murder and assault and battery resulting in serious bodily injury, dropped by prosecutors.

Police were called to Blackburn’s apartment by a neighbor who heard two men yelling and a woman crying in the hallway on Sept. 2, 2012, according to a police report.

“I am going to (expletive) kill you,” Blackburn allegedly yelled at his then-girlfriend. “This is all your fault.”

Police said Blackburn blamed the victim for the fact that another man he’d invited to the house for sexual activity had left.

The victim was still shaking and crying hysterically, covered in bruises and scratches on her face and neck, when police found her outside the house, according to the report.

But for the intervention of Blackburn’s roommate when he arrived home, the woman told police she believed she would have died that night.

Blackburn had thrown her onto a bed, striking her head against the headboard, then began strangling and punching her repeatedly.

As the roommate pounded on the bedroom door, telling Blackburn to stop, Blackburn yelled out, “It’s none of your business, hotshot, back off.”

When the roommate managed to intervene, Blackburn allegedly turned on him, police said.

According to the police report, the roommate suffered cuts to his arm and leg during an altercation. As the two men scuffled, the girlfriend was able to run out of the apartment.

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