ABINGDON, Va. — A Washington County, Virginia, man, who serves as an assistant volleyball coach at Patrick Henry High School, is fighting for his life at a local hospital following a weekend altercation that caused severe head trauma.
Jeremy Weaver, age unknown, of Damascus, who was taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center, remains in critical condition at the intensive care unit. Another man, Ronnie Cory Cornett, 33, also of Damascus, is behind bars on a charge of malicious wounding.
Brian Stainker, a deputy at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, went to a residence on Zion Church Road in the Damascus area on Saturday evening when central dispatch received a report of an unresponsive man. Weaver was lying on his back, unconscious and bleeding from his ears, nose and mouth, according to a criminal complaint filed in Washington County General District Court.
Witnesses told deputies that Cornett struck Weaver in the face, knocking him onto the asphalt driveway, the complaint states.
Weaver was flown by helicopter to the hospital with serious head injuries, Stainker wrote.
“After Cornett struck Weaver, aid was being given by other parties,” Stainker wrote. “Witness stated that Cornett began yelling at him when he asked Cornett what had happened.”
Authorities have said that a party was being held at the residence at the time of the altercation.
Weaver underwent surgery on Christmas and was back to the ICU on Wednesday, according to a GoFundMe account set up by Rhonda Honaker. Weaver is expected to remain sedated for several days to allow his brain time to heal, it adds.
“Then they will start decreasing the medications to start waking him up,” the page states. “It is still too early to assess any other problems or issues, but we’re just taking it one day at a time.”
Donations for Weaver’s medical expenses can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/lift-up-jeremy. The account had raised just less than $5,000 by late Wednesday.
“It was just heartbreaking,” said Honaker, who manages Anytime Fitness in Abingdon, where Weaver, his brother and his cousin are members.
Weaver is more than an average gym-goer, she said. Honaker, who said Weaver is like a brother, said the man visited the gym often, almost on a daily basis.
“He’s a super, super nice guy,” Honaker said.
The day before Saturday’s altercation, Honaker said Weaver visited the gym.
“He was walking around in his Christmas slippers,” she recalled, adding that a picture was taken of Weaver and her husband, who was wearing a Christmas shirt.
Honaker is raising funds for Weaver and his family because she believes he “has a long road ahead of him.”
“He would do anything for anybody,” Honaker added. “He is a warm-hearted guy.”
Weaver has served as an assistant volleyball coach at Patrick Henry High School, where the girl’s team recently won a state title. He previously served as a football coach at Holston High School.
Honaker said Weaver, who also sings and plays instruments, enjoys working with the children.
“For those of you that know Jeremy, you know that his faith is strong and he will not give up,” the GoFundMe account states. “Please pray and help any way that you can as Jeremy battles for his life!”
A number of people have also signed up online to pray at specific times for Weaver by visiting https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0a44a8a728a4ff2-pray. Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman and Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow would not comment Wednesday on the ongoing investigation.
Cornett is being held without bail at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon. On Wednesday, Abingdon attorney Heather Howard was listed as Cornett’s lawyer, according to an arrest warrant.