A Soldotna man, who plead guilty to a domestic violence felony assault charge, was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for assaulting his girlfriend and another man in January.
With the victim in the courtroom and their six-week-old son, Patrick Slate, 38, was given a maximum two-year sentence for the amended charge of assault in the third-degree, a class C felony.
Kenai Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman also sentenced Slate to one-year in jail for assault in the fourth-degree charge, a class A misdemeanor. After consecutive sentences, Slate will be on probation for four years.
On Jan. 11, Soldotna Police arrested Slate after police found his then girlfriend with second-degree burns to her face, neck and torso, fractured ribs and severe facial trauma from being immersed in hot water. Slate had also burned her lip with a lit cigarette, according to the police affidavit.
She spent several days at Central Peninsula Hospital with life-threatening injuries and couldn’t recall the assault.
Slate said he’d assaulted her after seeing another man kiss her. Slate also assaulted the man, fracturing hs orbital socket and breaking his nose, according to the report.
The Clarion is not printing the names of the victims, or the female victim’s family, who testified in court Thursday.
Defense attorney Joy Hobart filed a character letter from the female victim saying Slate was a good person.
The male victim did not appear in court.
From the start, the victim has requested to be in contact with Slate.
On Aug. 28, he was granted a temporary release to be present for the birth of their son. The victim said, during the hearing that Slate is a good person and not the “monster the media made him out to be.”
Assistant Kenai District Attorney Kelly Lawson said the state has had concern of the victim’s mental health after she was beaten.
The victim had been uncooperative with the state and Lawson said they had asked her to see a neurologist to determine if she suffered any brain damage.
Bauman asked the victim how she was doing.
“I’m doing perfectly fine,” she said. “I saw a neurologist and she said I’m doing fine and don’t have brain damage. I probably should have gotten a statement from her but I can get one.”
Bauman asked the victim if she was aware of a letter Slate’s ex-wife wrote to the court about how violent Slate was to her and their two children. Slate is still legally married to another women, to which the victim said, “They did not have a good relationship.”
The victim’s father spoke in court and said he was troubled by what Slate did to his daughter and fears that she does suffer the effects of the assault. He said Slate’s ex-wife and current wife had both contacted their family with concerns of Slate’s abusive history.
“This is a difficult situation as a parent,” he said. “I feel like a bomb has been dropped on our family. We are in direct conflict with our daughter. … Our daughter is in complete denial.”
The victim’s father said he was concerned about Slate’s short sentence. Slate’s original charge was for assault in the first-degree, a class A felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Following the change of plea hearing in May, the indictment was waived and amended to a class C felony, which carries a maximum five years in prison and $100,000 fine.
“For 10 months of hearings … we are talking about the right for (Slate) to see my daughter and grandchild. Really?” the father said. “I hope justice is served.”
Bauman said he is confined to the law the legislature has set. After the change of plea, the jail range for a presumptive class C felony is a maximum of two years in prison, he said.
Slate has spent 330 days in Wildwood Pretrial Facility since his January arrest.
Bauman said part of his sentence includes time served, which means he has a little over a year left in jail on the felony charge.
“In the legal world we are working with serious limitations,” Bauman said.
Slate’s step-father, John Manville, who participated in the hearing telephonically, said he has raised Slate since he was three months old and knows him as a “good father, son and brother.”
Hobart, Slate’s attorney, argued that probation and a mental health evaluation for Slate makes the most sense. She said Slate has job skills he can use, once he is released back into the community, to pay restitution to the victims.
“The reality is a lot of my clients don’t show remorse,” Hobart said. “(Slate) has kicked himself for what he did. He wants to be a good father. I ask for probation to show what he can do.”
Lawson said Slate’s case is one of the most violent domestic violence assaults she has dealt with.
“The incident is fueled by jealousy,” Lawson said. “(Slate) turned on her to inflict pain and teach her a lesson. … People haven’t seen this side of him because he hides it.”
Bauman asked Slate if he wanted to make a statement. Slate took a long pause, spoke softly and said everything he heard in the hearing sounded terrible.
“It doesn’t matter how long I’m in jail. I see the same faces and I’m not one of them,” he said. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”
According to court records, after Slate’s release, he is required to have a substance abuse evaluation within 30 days. He must also get a mental health assessment within 60 days of his release, and must successfully complete all mental health programs and treatments. He is also required to pay restitution to both victims.
Slate is not allowed contact with the male victim or contact with the female victim’s family.
He is, however, allowed contact with the female victim and newborn son.
Reach Dan Balmer at email@example.com