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'Uniontown Ninja' admits to assault

| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Fayette County man who claimed to be a ninja after he allegedly stabbed a woman who confronted him as he rummaged through her car has entered guilty pleas to simple assault and theft from a motor vehicle, both misdemeanors.

Justin Jellots, 29, of South Union appeared on Wednesday before Senior Judge Conrad Capuzzi to enter the pleas in mental health court.

According to a plea sheet Jellots signed after consulting with defense attorney Anthony Dedola of Uniontown, prosecutors have recommended a sentence of six to 12 months incarceration and $530 restitution to the victim.

A more serious felony charge of robbery was withdrawn before the case was transferred from district court to county court.

In a criminal complaint, state police said a woman told them she found a man dressed in black inside her car at 11:45 p.m. April 8 on Southwood Drive in South Union. The man had a black scarf on his face that allowed only his eyes to show, police said, and he swung a knife at the woman, puncturing her left shoulder.

Jellots fled when the victim struck him with her purse and her daughter began yelling out a window at him, police said.

Police said that when they interviewed Jellots, he told them he is known as the “Uniontown Ninja.”

Jellots had been charged in a related case with aggravated assault, simple assault and criminal mischief in connection with an April 24, 2011, incident in South Union in which police said he tried to stab a man with a sword on Elm Street and broke out the windows of 11 cars, according to a criminal complaint.

The charges were dismissed following a preliminary hearing in September before South Union District Judge Joseph George Jr. because the assault victim did not appear to testify and the two-year statute of limitations on the criminal mischief charges had passed.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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