Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, July 3 2012 at 5:32 PM, Updated: Tue, July 3 2012 at 5:42 PM
A Klamath Falls man is headed to prison for nearly six years for his role in a brutal assault.
29 year old Daryle Dean Colbert pled 'guilty' to charges of second-degree assault late Tuesday afternoon.
The charges stem from an assault on Brian Tackitt at a south suburban trailer park that happened in November of 2011.
Colbert testified that he and two friends intended to burglarize Tackitt's home, and Tackitt answered the door...
"So I punched him." Testified Colbert. "We wrestled around on the ground, he ended up on top of me. My co-defendant, guy I was with came in, hit him with a maglight on the head, knocked him out. Hit him repeatedly, actually."
"He was hit hard enough that it split his skull." Said Klamath County Deputy District Attorney Mark Costello. "It broke his bones. He tried to cover his head, and lost part of a finger - he was hit so hard, with whatever it was."
Colbert's pleas was made as part of a negotiated agreement.
Judge Marci Adkisson noted that Colbert was lucky he's not facing more serious charges...
"It's very fortunate for you, and certainly fortunate for Mr. Tackitt, because he could be dead and you could be facing murder charges."
Co-defendants Steven Wise and J.D. Cobb were placed on probation earlier this year for their roles in the crime.
Colbert must submit to three years of post-prison supervision upon his release.
Victim Brian Tackitt was not in the courtroom for the change of plea hearing.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.