Tryon man sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison for assault

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Tryon man may spend nearly 15 years in prison for assaulting his girlfriend with a knife, according to a release from the office of District Attorney Greg Newman.

Dwayne Dennis Forney, of Peake Street, Tryon, was sentenced last week in Polk County Superior Court to 178 months in prison for assaulting a Spartanburg resident. Forney appeared in court with his attorney and pleaded guilty to felony assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill.

Dwayne Dennis Forney

Newman represented the state of North Carolina, who told Superior Court Judge Gregory Horne that the defendant wished to plead guilty instead of taking his case to trial.

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“The facts in support of the charge were very strong,” Newman said.  “The victim suffered permanent, debilitating injuries, and is fortunate to have survived the attack by the defendant.”

Tryon police were called to St. Luke’s Hospital on March 19, 2017, where they spoke briefly to the victim. The woman was being prepared for air transport to Mission Hospital in Asheville when she identified the defendant as the person who attacked her with a knife.

The victim received emergency treatment for wounds to both her face and neck. She ultimately lost the use of her left eye.

According to an eyewitness of the crime, the defendant and the victim had been dating.

The victim drove Forney home on the evening of March 19. Forney sat in the backseat, while the eyewitness sat in the front passenger’s seat.

After exiting the car, the defendant walked around to the driver’s window and said “Look what I got.” He then stabbed the victim in the left temple and neck area.

Tryon police questioned Forney, who remembered playing with a knife while in the car, but “blacked out” and could not remember what he did to the victim.

According to the defendant’s mother, Forney dropped the weapon inside the home after she saw him stab the victim several times. He acknowledged to his mother that he had attacked the victim, but gave no apparent reason for doing so.

Tryon police recovered the weapon from the residence.

Forney had previously been charged with assaulting the victim in South Carolina, but there had been no arguing or threats of violence on the incident date.

“In pre-trial discussions with [the victim], it appears that she was not as interested in a romantic relationship with Forney as much as he was with her,” Newman said.  “That is the only motive that the police and the victim have been able to provide. [The victim] suffered a significant loss of blood and was in a medically induced coma at Mission due to brain swelling. So, we had to wait for several weeks before we could meet with her and discuss the facts.

“She has been very helpful to us in our prosecution, and she is a courageous young lady. Naturally, I wish her all the best going forward. Hopefully the defendant’s admission of guilty and long prison sentence will give her a sense of comfort.”

Newman also praised the Tryon Police Department for their investigative work in the case.

Forney will be in the North Carolina prison system for almost 15 years. He will be eligible for parole after serving 11 years and six months.