A Richland woman beat up by her former boyfriend wore a T-shirt to court Wednesday with a photo of her swollen, bruised face and pleaded with a judge to send Robert Jorgensen to jail.
Jorgensen, 50, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to a felony violation of a no-contact order and his attorney, Scott Johnson, had negotiated a deal to have prosecutors recommend a seven-day jail term.
Jorgensen, who was not in custody, would have remained free because he already had served seven days.
But after listening to Michele McIntosh's tale, Judge Craig Matheson ordered a 17-day sentence, which meant Jorgensen was taken into custody immediately,
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"I am moved by the comments of the victim here and the injuries," he said. "I think they're severe."
McIntosh said she continues to deal with problems and injuries that stem from the August 2010 beating when she said Jorgensen punched and strangled her, knocking her unconscious.
"I just find it insulting -- seven days when I couldn't even open my right eye for 11 days. It was 20 days before my black eye went away," said the 39-year-old. "I'm walking out of here to get a drink of water (during a court recess) and he winks at me because it's funny to him. He's not even sorry. ... I feel slapped again."
Jorgensen was arrested by Kennewick police Aug. 25, 2010, after officers responded to a report of an assault at the Hawaiian Village apartment complex. A security guard told officers that he saw a man, later identified as Jorgensen, punch a woman in the face twice, then leave the area, court documents said.
Officers found McIntosh with a bloody lip and swollen eye. She told officers that Jorgensen had hit her in the face several times, documents said.
Jorgensen previously was ordered to have no contact with McIntosh from an earlier incident, and he was arrested for violating that order.
Deputy Prosecutor Megan Whitmire told Matheson that Jorgensen had no prior felony convictions and recommended the seven-day sentence because he was a first-time offender. She also requested Jorgensen be required to get domestic violence, alcohol and drug evaluations and treatments.
"I know she does not agree with my recommendation, to put it lightly," Whitmire said about McIntosh.
Johnson told the court that he didn't want to disparage McIntosh but when she showed up with her son and boyfriend, all wearing theT-shirt showing her beaten face, he decided to present letters that McIntosh wrote to Jorgensen.
He said the issue is that they are dealing with two people who have no business being in a relationship with each other. He said he had 11 reports from Kennewick police where McIntosh was the agitator and said she continued to contact Jorgensen, even though she knew that would violate the order.
Johnson said he is not going to make excuses for a man who put his hands on a woman, but, "It wouldn't have happened if she hadn't stirred the pot."
He also said her blood-alcohol level taken at the hospital almost was 0.30 percent, which is more than three times the legal driving limit of 0.08.
"That's not a reason to be assaulted, but it kind of fills in the blanks on this case," Johnson said.
Jorgensen has mental health issues, had a competency evaluation done and is getting treatment, Johnson said. He also said he wasn't aware of any prior assaults by his client and asked Matheson to follow the recommendation.
Whitmire asked Matheson not to take McIntosh's blood-alcohol level or contact with law enforcement into account when making her decision, but Johnson said he thought it was "entirely relevant."
Matheson responded, "The issue here today is his behavior, not hers."
He told Jorgensen the most important thing he was going to do is impose another no-contact order.
"You are not to violate this order. I don't care if she calls you. If she calls you, hang up. If she sees you on the street, go the other way," Matheson said.
When Jorgensen tried to tell the judge that McIntosh runs after him, Matheson told him, "Then run the other way faster."