PLATTSMOUTH – A Beaver Lake man will spend time in Cass County Jail for harming a female victim by placing his hands around her neck.
Gary A. Thornton, 39, appeared in Cass County District Court on Monday morning for a sentencing hearing. He pled guilty earlier this summer to a Class I misdemeanor of third-degree assault. Prosecutors dismissed a Class IIIA felony charge of assault by strangulation in exchange for his plea.
Deputy County Attorney Richard Fedde said Thornton had been living at a residence on Rock Bluff Road when he became angry with a female victim on Jan. 19. He made a threatening statement and then placed his hands around the neck of the victim. He placed his hands hard enough to cause red marks on her throat.
A third person saw Thornton choking the victim and intervened in the situation. The victim fell to the floor and cut her elbow when the physical intervention took place. Authorities came to the house and spotted the red marks on her throat and injury to her elbow.
Thornton had been in a pre-trial release program while court proceedings played out earlier this year. Fedde said he violated terms of the pre-trial release program by visiting Colorado without permission.
Fedde asked the court to sentence Thornton to one year in jail. He said Thornton’s criminal history dated to 1998 and included charges of assault, driving under the influence of alcohol, intimidation of witness by telephone and possession of marijuana.
Defense attorney Julie Bear said her client did not wish to be placed on probation. She said Thornton was working at two jobs and had been abstinent from methamphetamine for seven months. She asked for a jail sentence of six months.
Judge Michael Smith ordered Thornton to spend 365 days in Cass County Jail. Thornton will receive credit for 49 days already served. He will also be required to pay all court costs.
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