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Brunswick Man Convicted of Aggravated Assault
State v. Michael Purnell

May 30, 2024

District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, Michael Purnell, 59, of Brunswick, GA, was found guilty of Aggravated Battery. The Glynn County jury deliberated and returned their guilty verdict in under 30 minutes.

The evidence presented at trial showed that on June 22, 2023, the victim, William Glass, was at the Citgo Gas Station on Norwich Street Extension getting money out of the ATM inside the gas station. While the victim was getting money out of the ATM, the defendant walked into the store, came up from behind the victim, and punched the victim in the side of his face/head which caused the victim to be knocked unconscious and fall to the floor. When the victim fell, his head struck the gas station floor.

The defendant then crouched over the victim as if to say something, then started to walk away, and then came back once more towards the unconscious victim and then spit on him. This was captured by surveillance video inside the gas station. The defendant hit the victim so hard you could hear the impact on the video which the jurors were able to see and hear. The victim, unaware of what happened, eventually regained consciousness, and then drove home, which he testified at trial he did not remember. When he arrived home, his family members called 911 as he was bleeding profusely from his head. Law enforcement and EMS personnel arrived to find the victim covered in blood. There was blood all down the side of the truck where the victim had leaned to hold himself up and blood all inside the victim’s garage.

The victim suffered a broken jaw, a large laceration to his forehead and a large laceration to the back of his head. The victim was transported to the ER by ambulance and then transported to Jacksonville due to the severity of his injuries. The victim suffered a level four concussion, had two teeth knocked out, had to have a metal implant inserted in his jaw due to a piece of his jawbone being broken off, six metal screws inserted in his mouth in which his jaw was wired shut for two months, 10-14 stitches in his head for the laceration over his eye, and 7-8 staples for the laceration to the back of his head.

The defendant was positively identified at trial as the offender by two witnesses.

The case was prosecuted for the State by Assistant District Attorney Leland McElveen, who stated, “This was a cowardly premeditated attack perpetrated by the defendant who was held accountable by a jury of his peers. Upon receipt of his sentence, justice will be served.”

Sentencing in this case will has been continued until Friday, June 14, 2024, at 0930 in front of the Honorable Chief Judge Stephen G. Scarlett, Sr.

Members of the media with further questions may contact the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office at 912-554-7200.