CLEVELAND — Tony Farmer’s talent on the basketball court made the Garfield Heights High School senior one of the top college recruits in the country.
But Farmer may have forfeited a scholarship and his future, when he attacked his ex-girlfriend in her apartment building in Bedford Heights on April 23rd.
Surveillance video, obtained by the Fox 8 I-Team, shows Farmer striking 18-year-old Andrea Lane in the head, and then continuing to strike and kick her as she cowered in a corner and pleaded for him to stop. But police say he then dragged her outside by the hair and continued to assault her.
Then, when she tried to get back inside the apartment building, he attacked her again, tried to pull her outside and later kicked her in the head four times.
In court on Tuesday Lane said, “I don’t know what was wrong with him that day, I mean I know he was a good person, I hope he still is, I hope he learns from this.”
Farmer collapsed in the courtroom on Tuesday, after Judge Pamela Barker sentenced him to three years in prison on charges that include kidnapping and felonious assault.
In an interview with the I-Team, Barker says she was not swayed by supporters of Farmer who asked that she be lenient so that he could pursue a basketball scholarship, or even the victim’s request that he not be sent to prison.
Barker told Fox 8, “There’s nothing in the sentencing guidelines that talks about him being a basketball star, and being able to go forward, when obviously she’s been very traumatized by this whole situation.”
The judge says she also concluded Farmer was not remorseful after his initial arrest, because he later attempted to intimidate by the victim by sending her a series of text and phone messages.
“He certainly threatened her or said that he should have done something more to her and so that in addition to what I saw on the tape was very telling to me and it was a violation of the ‘no contact’ order that was put in place to protect her,” Barker said.
And as Farmer heads to prison, the judge says he only has himself to blame for the cloud that now hangs over his once bright future.
“The opportunities that were lost, I would just say that he lost them,” said Barker.