Sweet Home Man Found Not Guilty

A Sweet Home resident was found not guilty of four felonies, Feb. 2 following an altercation that occurred May 5, 2023.

The evening of the altercation, Kyle Thomas Sabato, 22, was arrested for second degree attempted murder, first degree assault, first degree robbery, all Class A felonies, and unlawful use of a weapon, a Class C felony.

According to court documents and surveillance footage, Sabato arrived at his residence May 5, 2023, to gather his belongings as he was moving out of a home following a break up the night before. After entering the residence, the defendant walked back outside along with the victim, Justin Jones, and his brother Custin Jones. All the individuals mentioned were residing under the same roof leading up to the date.

After walking to the driveway, an argument broke out between the individuals, when Custin Jones backed Sabato up against the driver side door of a vehicle, according to court documents. At that point, Sabato pushed Custin Jones, before Jones punched Sabato in the face.

As this was happening, Justin Jones was seen through surveillance footage walking back across the front lawn and up to the porch where he grabbed a metal rake with a long wooden handle. Justin then marched back to where Sabato was, and began violently swinging the rake, smashing the defendant in the head repeatedly. Footage shows the defendant fall to the ground as Justin Jones began repeatedly hitting him in the head and face. Jones struck Sabato so hard according to court documents, he broke the wooden handel over Sabato’s head and fractured Sabato’s sinus cavity.

According to court documents, Sabato was able to withstand this potentially deadly assault and stayed conscious enough to overpower Justin, tackling him against the house. Sabato then stabbed Justin multiple times in his torso and back area. All transpired within seconds.

After Sabato backed away, Justin Jones fled the area, before Custin Jones began attacking Sabato, kicking him in the head and choking him to the point of unconsciousness.

Sabato was indicted by a grand jury July 12, 2023, with the charges including second degree attempted murder, first degree assault, first degree robbery, and unlawful use of a weapon.

During the trial, the defense was able to unearth many violent instances with the brothers.

October 2021, Justin Jones was under the influence of narcotics when he trespassed onto private property. When the property owner requested he leave, he became aggressive and threatened to shoot her and her entire family with a pistol he claimed to have.

Custin Jones also had a recent history of violence. Custin, along with a group of accomplices, beat a 13-year-old autistic boy outside of the Sweet Home High School in Feb. 2022. Custin, after originally lying to police, was convicted of third degree assault. Custin Jones also went to state prison, May 31, 2023, following a different case.

Sabato was found not guilty Feb. 14 of all counts, with Judge Keith Stein acquitting Sabato on first degree robbery.