Man gets suspended, deferred sentences in domestic assault

2014-06-03T16:30:00Z 2014-06-04T00:54:13Z Man gets suspended, deferred sentences in domestic assaultBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A 24-year-old man was given deferred and suspended sentences Tuesday after pleading guilty in a February domestic-assault case involving his sister and his ex-girlfriend.

Kermit Lee Lafountain appeared by video from the county jail in Yellowstone County Justice Court, where he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of partner or family member assault and destruction of or tampering with a communications device.

Judge David A. Carter gave Lafountain, who has no criminal history, a one-year deferred sentence for the domestic assault charge and a six-month suspended sentence for the tampering charge. In exchange for his pleas, a felony count of assault with a weapon was dismissed.

The judge told Lafountain he was getting a break, but with some tough restrictions. Lafountain also has to complete 60 hours of community service, 40 hours of domestic assault counseling, one year of misdemeanor probation, do a chemical dependency evaluation, pay $1,000 in fines, and he can’t have any contact with his ex-girlfriend or sister.

Officers arrested Lafountain in February after responding to a call from a residence in the 700 block of North 19th Street, according to charging documents. 

Police found Lafountain holding a cellphone with bloody hands and reported that he repeatedly stated, “I did it,” court records state.

An officer found Lafountain’s ex-girlfriend in a bathroom, crying and shaking as she cleaned her wounds, charging documents say. The officer reported the woman had blood all over her face, head and hands and that she had cuts on her neck, face and head, as well as bruising and that some of her hair had been pulled out.

Lafountain’s sister, who lived at the residence with his ex-girlfriend, said they had all been drinking before the assault, court records state. She told police that her brother choked her and took her phone when she tried to call police.

According to Lafountain’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Roberta A. Drew, Lafountain’s girlfriend was uncooperative with investigators.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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