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Discharged Marine convicted of choking Uber driver avoids jail time

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — A discharged Marine stationed at Fort Lee will avoid jail time after he was convicted of assaulting an Uber driver on Interstate 95 in April 2016.

Maxwell Sweeney, 23, attacked Rene Ernesto Sanchez Espinozo while he was driving on I-95 in Chesterfield County.

Sanchez told CBS 6 last year he was nearly choked unconscious by Sweeney while he was driving at 60 miles per hour.

“He attacked me,” Sanchez, who was a police officer and bodyguard in his native of El Salvador said. “I think he was trying to kill me. I saw it in his eyes.”

Maxwell Sweeney (PHOTO: Chesterfield Police)

Maxwell Sweeney (PHOTO: Chesterfield Police)

Sweeney told police he had been drinking and that was the reason for his behavior.

He plead no contest to a felony unlawful wounding charge against him last September.

But after a hearing last week, a chesterfield judge found Sweeney guilty of lesser charges, misdemeanor assault, and misdemeanor vandalism. Sweeney also received a 12-month suspended jail sentence for each charge.

The lesser charges came after the judge learned Sweeney was expelled from the Marines with an “Other than Honorable Discharge.” That is the most severe type of military administrative discharge.

The judge also ordered Sweeney to pay $2,246 in restitution to Sanchez.