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Associated Press

CHEYENNE — Queint Higgins, men's basketball coach at Laramie County Community College, has pleaded no contest to charges that he punched his wife.

By changing his plea from innocent, Higgins, 32, avoided a Circuit Court trial on a charge of domestic violence and battery that was slated for Friday.

A defendant who enters such a no contest plea does not officially admit or deny the charges, but a fine or sentence may be imposed.

Higgins entered his plea with the consent of Circuit Judge Denise Nau on Wednesday morning.

As part of the plea agreement, Higgins was granted deferred prosecution. Should he break no laws for the next year, the charge will be dismissed.

Higgins had no prior convictions, a court clerk said.

Nau also ordered Higgins to undergo a psychological evaluation and comply with whatever recommendations are made.

The charge against Higgins carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $750 fine.

Higgins was accused of punching his wife, Jenny, in the stomach with a closed fist after the two had been drinking at their home. Jenny Higgins told police that wasn't the first time he had struck her, according to court records.

Higgins, who has entered his second season of coaching at LCCC, played as a forward at the University of Wyoming from 1989-1994.

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