NORRISTOWN -- An Upper Providence man, who last winter ended a political argument with his brother-in-law by stabbing him with a kitchen knife, will remain under the watchful eye of the law long after a new U.S. President is elected.

Montgomery County Judge William T. Nicholas Tuesday sentenced Jose Antonio Ortiz, 28, of the 100 block of Honeylocust Court, to time served (about three weeks) to 12 months in the county prison.

After Ortiz completes his parole, he also will have to serve a one-year probationary sentence.

In addition, Ortiz will have to pay $200 in fines plus court costs.

The sentence was part of a negotiated plea in which Ortiz pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple assault and recklessly endangering another.

More serious felony charges were dropped against Ortiz, which makes him eligible to vote in the upcoming November presidential election.

The stabbing occurred on Feb. 21 when Ortiz and Sean Shurelds, 42, of Lower Salford, became embroiled in a heated dispute over Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The political dispute between the pair took place at the Ortiz home.

Responding to a report of a stabbing, police entered the residence and found Shurelds bleeding heavily from a stab wound to the stomach, according to the criminal complaint.

Shurelds, who told the police he was wounded during an argument with Ortiz, was flown to Hahnemann Hospital where he was admitted and subsequently released.

Ortiz, who had been washing the knife used in the stabbing when police arrived, told authorities the pair was arguing over politics, the complaint said.

Shurelds, a registered Democrat who supports Obama, told Ortiz, a registered Republican, that Obama was whipping Clinton in the contest for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President. Ortiz responded that Obama "was not a realist," according to the complaint.

Ortiz told authorities that the argument between he and his brother-in-law escalated and then became physical, with Shurelds allegedly choking him and then punching him in the face, the complaint said.

Ortiz said he could not recall stabbing Shurelds but does remember that there was a knife on the floor where the pair was battling, according to the complaint.

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