ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A man who went on a rampage with a crowbar last summer in a Pensacola-area Lowe’s has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
James Earl Hamilton junior attacked a store manager with a pipe wrench, shattering the man’s jaw and teeth. Hamilton was convicted five years ago for a similar unprovoked attack. That time he hit a friend in the head with a large metal rod.
On Aug. 17, 2020 in Escambia County, the victim was working as a newly hired store manager at the Lowes located on Fairfield Drive. Shortly after 9 PM, the store closed and the victim was finishing his work duties and going over the final check list with another store manager, when the defendant, James Hamilton, came running down the aisle armed with the largest cast iron crowbar the store sold. Hamilton swung the crowbar at the victim’s head. The victim stepped back just enough to avoid being struck in his temple but the crowbar did hit him in the mouth. The victim was able to avoid a second strike by getting to the front of the store with Hamilton chasing behind him. As other employees began to gather around, Hamilton walked to the back of the store, hid the crowbar, and then forced his way out of the back emergency exit.
Assistant State Attorney Blake Adams stated the victim was rushed to the hospital with a shattered jaw, broken and impacted teeth, and a severe laceration to his upper lip. The victim underwent emergency surgery to wire his jaw shut and suture the lip back together. Since the incident, the victim has undergone several additional surgeries to help correct his jaw.
In 2016, the defendant was arrested and convicted for a nearly identical crime where he struck a friend of fifteen years in the head with a large rod. Both attacks were unprovoked