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Michigan teen wielding baseball bat ‘snapped’ when grandma asked for cellphone, he says

Bret Goodnuff, a Michigan 18-year-old, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to murder after beating his grandmother with a baseball bat last year in a fight over a cell phone. The grandma needed 60 stitches, she said.
Bret Goodnuff, a Michigan 18-year-old, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to murder after beating his grandmother with a baseball bat last year in a fight over a cell phone. The grandma needed 60 stitches, she said. Jackson County Sheriff's Office

A Michigan grandmother was descending the stairs at home after a spat with her grandson when she felt the first blow: a baseball bat was battering her head, she said in court.

“I was blitzed from behind,” Daria Kressner, then 58, testified in February as she explained how she fled down the stairs during her grandson’s October 2017 attack, MLive reports. “I told him I was going to die, and he said, ‘I don’t care.’ ”

Kressner and her 17-year-old grandson, Bret Goodnuff, had been arguing over Kressner’s cellphone at her Rives Township home earlier that day, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post last year.

After police responded to the assault, Kressner was hospitalized with injuries to her arms, back and head, authorities said.

Deputies testified in court that Kressner’s skull was visible after the attack, and Kressner described in court how she could “feel her brains” while she put pressure on her skull and awaited medical attention, MLive reports. The back of Kressner’s head required sixty staples and stitches.

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Goodnuff was arrested soon after the attack, as he rode his bicycle along Interstate 94 in Calhoun County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities said that during questioning Goodnuff confessed to deputies that he “snapped” and attacked his grandmother, MLive reports.

He was charged with assault with the intent to commit murder and held on $250,000 bond, local prosecutors announced after Goodnuff’s arrest.

Goodnuff, now 18, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to those charges and could be sentenced to as much as life in prison, Jackson County prosecutors announced. Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka praised the sheriff’s office for an “excellent” job investigating.

Kressner, Goodnuff’s legal guardian since he was 8, said in court that she thought Goodnuff had taken her cell phone on the day of the attack — and that after Goodnuff had returned the phone to her, he began attacking her, MLive reports. Kressner had been getting ready to take Goodnuff to an appointment with a psychologist at the time, she testified.

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