Canton driver accused of beating 85-year-old retired steel worker wants to change plea

Canton police said he attacked any 85-year-old man.
Canton police said he attacked any 85-year-old man.((Source: Canton police))
Published: May. 10, 2021 at 2:25 PM EDT
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STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - The attorney for the 32-year-old man accused of viciously beating an elderly retired steelworker after a car accident filed a motion to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.

Travonce Backie was indicted on the charges of felonious assault, failure to stop after an accident, driving under suspension and repeat violent offender specification.

The motion to change his plea will be heard on June 10 in front of Stark County Court of Common Pleas Judge Natalie Haupt.

Canton police said Backie attacked Ralph White, 85, on Feb. 28.

According to Canton police, White’s car was struck around 12:45 a.m. in the 2600 block of 8th Street NE.

After the accident, police said Backie beat White with his fists before fleeing the scene.

“So I rolled the window down to talk to him, and he curses me out and starts pounding on me,” said White.

White was still restrained inside his vehicle when he was being assaulted.

Family members said White suffered multiple injuries; including, facial fractures and brain bleeding.

“God is good, and he kept him here for a reason,” said Mrs. White.

The United States Marshals helped Canton police capture Backie on March 2 in the 3200 block of 5th St. SE.

Backie is being held on a $500,000 bond at the Stark County Jail.

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