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Staton pleads guilty in beating of Suffolk police officer

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Posted at 7:07 AM, Oct 03, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-04 00:34:53-04

A Portsmouth man charged with beating a Suffolk police officer nearly to death in May strikes a plea deal on the charges.

Joe Staton was originally expected to face a capital attempted murder charge for his attack on Officer James Winslow.

But this morning, he pleaded guilty to aggravated malicious wounding and attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer.

Back in May, Officer Winslow pulled Staton over in Suffolk for driving a stolen car.

When Staton took off, Winslow chased him into the woods.

That's where Staton attacked Winslow leaving the 27-year-old with head injuries so bad doctors had to remove part of his skull.

NewsChannel 3 has learned Officer Winslow wasn't protecting his head because he was trying to stop Staton from "removing his 40 caliber service weapon from his holster."

While Winslow has undergone surgery after surgery, his recovery is far from over.

Staton faces a life sentence with an additional 120 years in prison.

He will be sentenced on December 10th.

Related:

Portsmouth man indicted for attempted capital murder of Suffolk officer