A 23-year-old man was sentenced to almost five years in prison after admitting to strangling and holding his then-girlfriend against her will in his Richland apartment earlier this year.
Joshua Allen Fernald pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court on Thursday to second-degree assault, felony harassment and unlawful imprisonment for the March 2 incident. All three charges include domestic violence allegations.
Fernald originally was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, violation of a protection order, felony harassment and unlawful imprisonment. The charges including allegations of aggravating circumstances that the offense involved domestic violence, deliberate cruelty, sexual motivation, a deadly weapon and recent recidivism, meaning he was recently released from incarceration.
Defense attorney Norma Rodriguez told Judge Vic VanderSchoor that this was a "heavily negotiated" deal involving all parties. Deputy Prosecutor Christine Bennett said the victim agreed to the deal and was in court, but did not wish to speak.
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Fernald received a sentence of four years and 10 months in prison. He also is required to complete alcohol, drug and domestic violence treatment.
Fernald was arrested in March after a neighbor called 911 when the 20-year-old victim ran from his apartment, naked, bloody and yelling for help, court documents said. The neighbor reported the victim appeared terrified and feared she would be killed, documents said.
The victim and Fernald had been dating for about two years before the incident. She said Fernald became enraged when he saw a text message on her phone around2 a.m., then forced her into the bedroom and held her against her will until she was able to run to the neighbor's apartment five hours later, documents said.
She said Fernald tried to suffocate her several times during the night while threatening to kill her, calling her vulgar names and sexually assaulting her, documents said.
The victim said that as she ran out of the apartment, she saw Fernald stab himself three times in the chest. He ended up puncturing a lung, documents said.
Fernald initially refused to leave his apartment at 2111 S. Turner St., butofficers were able to arrest him when they convinced him to open the door after volunteering to bring him a cigarette.
West Richland man pleads innocent to having child porn
A 21-year-old West Richland man accused of having videos and images of young girls engaging in sexual activity with an adult man now faces a second charge.
Dylan Robert Luippold is charged in Benton County Superior Court with two counts of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He pleaded innocent Thursday to the amended information. His trial is set for Oct. 29.
West Richland police searched Luippold's home Jan. 30 after getting a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Luippold reportedly told detectives he has viewed child pornography and had some files saved on his computer, court documents said.
He estimated he had three or four videos and 12 images of porn involving children ages 4-18 in a folder titled "new folder," documents said.
A police analysis of Luippold's computer found 42 files depicting child pornography, documents said.
Kennewick man faces trial after pleading innocent to stealing car
A 19-year-old Kennewick man faces a Nov. 19 trial in Benton County Superior Court after being caught allegedly joyriding in a stolen car.
Michael Lee Fouse pleaded innocent Thursday to second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission.
He was arrested Aug. 14 after police stopped the 1996 Honda Accord he was driving. The Accord had been reported stolen earlier that day, documents said. A second stolen vehicle also was stopped at the same time.
Fouse reportedly told officers that he knew both vehicles were stolen, and he and others were just riding around town in them.
Kennewick man pleads innocent to attack on man with baseball bat
A 29-year-old Kennewick man accused of hitting a man with a baseball bat faces a Nov. 5 trial.
Thomas Michael May pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to third-degree assault. His bail was set at $2,500. Prosecutors said he faces a standard range of up to eight months in jail, but they would amend the charge to second-degree assault if it goes to trial.
May allegedly went to Kyle and Bertha Strait's home on East Finley Road onSept. 9 and accused them of stealing money from him, court documents said. He then reportedly hit Kyle Strait on the arm with a baseball bat, causing his arm to swell.
Outlook man to stand trial for allegedly threatening witness
An Outlook man who allegedly threatened a witness in a Benton County District Court assault case will stand trial Nov. 19.
David Guillen, 24, had a trial set Sept. 10 in Benton County Superior Court for intimidating a witness, but he missed a hearing last month so the trial date was canceled.
Guillen was back in court Thursday for a new trial date.
He's accused of going to a home April 30 where the witness in his assault case was. He reportedly was heard telling another friend that the witness, Jessica Barnett, was a rat and a snitch and saying he was going to break a window or door at her apartment, documents said. Barnett confronted Guillen and he allegedly said, "I could do something to you ... you are a rat and rats deserve to be killed."
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org