No additional jail time in Port Angeles assault case

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man will serve no additional jail time following a guilty plea to a lesser charge in an assault in which the victim initially reported being choked and burned with a curling iron.

Ronald Glen Smith, 52, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 365 days in the Clallam County jail, according to Superior Court records.

John Troberg, the county deputy prosecuting attorney assigned to the case, said Smith will get credit for 50 days already spent in jail and serve the remaining 315 days on suspension.

Superior Court Judge Chris Melly presided over the sentencing hearing.

Smith was not listed on the jail roster Tuesday.

Deputies’ accounts

Clallam deputies’ reports said that at about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27 in a home in the 2800 block of East U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles, Smith punched a woman whom he had known previously, choked her and threatened to kill her if she told anyone what had happened.

The woman told deputies then that Smith had also burned her leg with a curling iron, though Troberg said the woman said later she had burned her leg on a heater and that it had nothing to do with Smith.

Additionally, Troberg said the woman indicated she did not want to testify against Smith regarding the reported choking.

“It was just clear we were not going to be able to proceed on the felony charges as originally set forth,” Troberg said, explaining why he sought the plea deal for the gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault charge.

Smith was originally charged with one count each of second-degree assault and fourth-degree assault, both domestic violence-related, and one count of fourth-degree assault.

Troberg said that without the woman’s testimony, he did not have sufficient evidence, such as medical records, to prove that the reported choking took place.

The woman otherwise cooperated with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office throughout the investigation, Troberg said, adding that these circumstances are often common in domestic violence cases.

Smith also has been ordered to no longer contact the woman and must complete 129 hours of community service in lieu of payment of court fees, according to Superior Court records.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 11. 2014 5:57PM
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