Suspect charged in alleged assault, death of Athens County man


Justin Pennington, 35, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, a 1st degree felony in the alleged assault and death of Blaine Sharpe, 59, of Shade. June 15, 2021. (Photo Courtesy: Athens County Sheriff’s Office)

ATHENS COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – An Athens County man has been arrested in connection to an alleged assault.

The Athens County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an assault around 7:13 p.m. June 13, 2021, in the 3400 block of Sargent Road in Shade. Deputies say the victim’s family members performed CPR until Athens County EMS arrived at the scene.

According to the sheriff’s department, the victim, identified as Blaine Sharpe, 59, of Shade, was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Deputies have identified the suspect as Justin Pennington, 35, of Guysville. The sheriff’s office says immediately following the alleged assault, Pennington allegedly walked next door to Sharpe’s daughter’s home, told her he had just assaulted her father, and then fled on foot.

Officials say deputies began searching for Pennington in a large, wooded area and investigating the scene and collecting evidence. Pennington was found and arrested around 9:30 p.m.. According to the sheriff’s office, detectives reportedly “received a confession by Pennington of the attack on Mr. Sharpe.”

Pennington has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, a 1st degree felony.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Athens County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with any information regarding this incident to call them at 740-593-6633.

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