Charles Morrison, 31, of Greensburg, Pa., was convicted on August 19 of charges including felonious aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The deadly weapon: a two-pound garden gnome.
Morrison’s 16-year-old stepdaughter told jurors that he had come home drunk on February 14 and had become abusive and threatening toward her. The girl claimed that she pushed Morrison out an open patio door, unfortunately giving him easy access to yard-based weaponry. Seizing a nearby garden gnome, Morrison launched it back into the house at the girl, but the gnome struck the glass patio door, shattering it.
"He threw the gnome at the glass," the girl told the jury. "It shattered everywhere, and the glass hit me in the face." She suffered a laceration over her right eye. The gnome, miraculously, was uninjured. In fact, according to the report, it came to trial:
The gnome, about a foot tall, wore a hat, a blue shirt over a bulging stomach and a wide grin as it sat on a table in open court throughout the two-day trial. Morrison and the weapon were separated by about 2 feet of table, with the gnome facing the defendant.
I had trouble finding a picture of any gnomes that were grinning at all, let alone widely. But I like imagining this one ("Timothy the Supervisor") glaring at the defendant throughout the trial as the evidence came in against him, slowly sealing his fate.
Despite being openly mocked by a garden gnome for two days, Morrison did not testify in his own defense. His attorney argued that he had not intended to harm his stepdaughter, but rather threw the gnome in anger and frustration after tripping on his way out of the house. (Who hasn’t done something like that? Let he who is without sin cast the first gnome.)
Apparently unconvinced, the jury convicted Morrison on five counts, although it did acquit him on one of the assault charges. He faces up to ten years in jail, possibly in a special cell with a little window through which Timothy the Supervisor could monitor him for the duration of the sentence.