Wednesday, July 16, 2014
A North Augusta man convicted of attacking and attempting to rape an elderly woman in 2009 should get a new trial, the Court of Appeals of Georgia decided last week.
Roger Bettis appealed that the trial court erred in refusing to allow him to exercise his constitutional right to self-representation, and that his trial counsel was ineffective, according to an opinion published on July 10.
A Richmond County jury convicted Bettis in 2010 on two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of criminal attempt to commit rape, kidnapping and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. He was sentenced to 95 years in prison.
The incident happened the evening of June 3, 2009, at Georgia Regents Medical Center, according to the opinion. Bettis allegedly entered a women’s restroom, climbed over a stall and attacked an elderly woman whose husband was a patient at the hospital.
Bettis was attempting to rape the woman when another woman entered the restroom and interrupted the attempt, according to the document. The victim lost several teeth and suffered a dislocated jaw, heavy bruising around her eyes and a lacerated lip, among other injuries.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.