A Gainesville man was sentenced Tuesday, July 2, for two attacks on a woman that the prosecutor said have “changed her life forever.”
Thomas Edward Nicely, 52, entered pleas on multiple cases and was given a total 60-year sentence by Superior Court Judge Jason Deal. The first 40 years will be behind bars, with the rest on probation.
The sentences are running at the same time.
Assistant District Attorney Kelley Robertson told Deal Tuesday about the first assault March 2, 2018, where Leslie Fuller was choked and beaten with a crowbar in midtown Gainesville.
Months later, Nicely was given a bond “with some pretty strict conditions on him” at the time: stay out of Hall County and stay away from Fuller, Robertson said.
Nicely bonded out of the Hall County Jail May 5, 2018, and four days later was accused of pushing Fuller down a set of stairs.
Robertson said Fuller suffered a collapsed lung, broken wrist, fractured vertebrae and losing four teeth.
Fuller said she first met Nicely a couple of years ago through mutual friends, and the two had only spent time together in group settings more than a handful of times.
Outside the courtroom, Fuller said the thing that aggravated her was Nicely not taking responsibility. During the hearing, Nicely said he was being accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
Fuller has to keep a repetitive-task job because of a brain injury, which she will learn the severity of in the coming months. The money from a crime victims’ compensation fund is running low.
“I don’t know where the money is going to come from for all these surgeries I need. I don’t think it’s fair to me,” she said, as she has looked at ways to crowdfund donations for her medical expenses.
Nicely took the pleas on the three cases, with aggravated assault and aggravated battery being the most serious among them.
When reached for comment, defense attorney Andy Maddox did not comment on the judge’s sentence but underscored some of his arguments in court regarding mental health and that the state of Georgia “must develop outstanding, quality facilities for those dealing with mental illness.”