Franklin County man beat with hammer, choked with chain in drug dispute

GUILFORD TWP., Franklin County, Pa. — Three Franklin County men are charged with attempted homicide after State Police say they beat another man with a hammer and choked him with a chain. State Police were called to the 3500 block of Social Circle around 12:09 a.m. Monday. When troopers arrived, they found a man lying on his side in the front lawn. Troopers observed he had severe injuries to his head and abrasions and bruises on his back and side.

The victim, James Robey, told the troopers had had borrowed some tools and marijuana from a man named Trevor Dykes a few days ago so that he could fix a car he owned. Robey said Dykes showed up to his home with two other men that night. They got into an argument about the tools and marijuana and at some point one of the men struck Robey in the head with a hammer, temporarily knocking him out. When he was on the ground, the men continued to attack, hitting him in the head and back.

Robey’s step son saw he was being choked with a chain and went to wake his mother. She saw the men beating her husband and saw one of them, the “larger” one, strike him in the head with a hammer twice. She tried to get the men to leave and called police. She said they picked up tools from the driveway and left in a white Nissan Maxima.

As troopers canvassed the area looking for the attackers, Dykes actually flagged down a cruiser and told the trooper they were involved in the fight. Dykes told troopers he and two other men, Matthew and Dustin Clever, went to Robey’s house to get the tools that belonged to him. He said Robey texted him and told him the tools would be in the driveway for him to pick up. When they got to the home, the tools were scattered around the driveway and Dykes said Robey was verbally aggressive and actually hit Matthew Clever with a hammer first. Dykes told police the Clevers did all the fighting with Robey.

Dustin Clever told a similar story, but Matthew Clever told police the three men had rehearsed their stories and had agreed to leave out the part where they threw the first punch and then beat Robey with a hammer. He told police Dykes’ motivation in going after Robey was not the borrowed tools, but that he owed Dykes money and drugs, specifically marijuana and pills.