Pastor: ‘Sentence gives me closure’

James Maxie sentenced for beating a Springfield pastor. (WDTN Photo)
James Maxie sentenced for beating a Springfield pastor. (WDTN Photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The man who attacked a pastor inside his church will spend eight years in prison.

The Reverend Norman Hayes says Wednesday’s sentencing gave him the closure he needs. He says he forgives James Maxie, but he questions whether he is really remorseful.

James Maxie read his apology from several wrinkled pieces of paper.

“I’ve totally ruined my life. My girlfriend watched in terror as I did this. My girlfriends family suffered. My mom and dad suffered the embarrassment of what I did,” said Maxie.

“It was all basically about himself and so, I think true remorse is when you don’t talk about yourself and all you talk about is how sorry you are for the other person,” said Reverend Hayes.

Maxie attacked Hayes inside the Bridge Community Church in North Hampton in October after Hayes questioned Maxie about his relationship with his girlfriend.

“I would want him to know going into prison hearing from me that I’ve extended forgiveness for him,” said Hayes.

Reverend Hays says the church changed security procedures following this attack. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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