An Ohio man was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Tuesday for beating his disabled brother and threatening to castrate him. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Lawrence L. Featheroff, 38, was allegedly trying to "push the gay out" of his brother through violence.
Featheroff agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors, entering a guilty plea to charges of complicity to commit felonious assault and abduction, which are third-degree felonies. Under the terms of the deal, a felony charge of domestic violence was dismissed.
Fairfield County Common Pleas Judge Chris A. Martin sentenced Featheroff to 30 months in prison for each crime, but will be allowed to serve them simultaneously. Featheroff admitted to abusing his 26-year-old brother Jason A. Meyers, who is developmentally disabled, but considered high functioning.
Meyers came to live with Featheroff, Featheroff's girlfriend and an aunt and uncle after he was abused in a group home. Meyer's was placed in his older brother's care in spite of Featheroff's previous conviction for domestic violence.
Police found Meyers with a number of injuries when they checked on him Jan. 15. A relative anonymously phoned police and informed them that the Featheroffs and others were hitting and starving Meyers, while torturing him by forcing him to run up and down a hill carrying a railroad tie.
Meyers was suffering from a concussion, multiple facial contusions and a sprained ankle when police arrived in January. He has since been relocated to a foster home.
Featheroff explained to police that he became angry when his brother confessed to having sexual thoughts towards other men.
Detective Brian Lowe testified in court that Featheroff "wanted to toughen him up to push the gay out of him and make him a normal person."
To that end, Featheroff bloodied his brother's nose, held a knife to his genitals and threatened to slice them off and verbally harassed him.
Some family members attended the trial in support of Featheroff and claimed that Meyers could be difficult to live with. Featheroff's girlfriend and a family friend are also facing charges in the case.
[image of man with black eye via Shutterstock.com]