Man pleads guilty to domestic battery

Sentencing was continued to Oct. 27 for a 34-year-old Johnson Lane man accused of battering his wife and preventing her from calling for help.

In exchange for Tyson Degenhart's guilty plea to domestic battery, the district attorney agreed to drop a charge of coercion.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday in East Fork Justice Court to the Oct. 14 incident at his home.

Degenhart also faces sentencing for a third driving under the influence conviction. He was arrested in 2008 for his third DUI after deputies responded to a report of a naked dirtbiker, identified as Degenhart, riding on Sunrise Pass Road.

His blood-alcohol content was .27, more than three times the legal limit for driving and he was on probation for a second DUI at the time.

He was allowed to enter a diversion program for people facing prison for felony drunk driving.

As a condition, he is forbidden to drink.

Tested last week at the Douglas County Jail, Degenhart's blood-alcohol content reportedly was .155 from the Oct. 14 arrest, nearly twice the legal limit.

Deputies responded to the home of the victim's sister early Oct. 14 where they were met by the victim, and were told the suspect was at his Sunrise Pass home.

The woman said she arrived home from work at 2 a.m. and saw her husband waiting on the porch. She said he was very intoxicated and angry that she was late.

"I got into an altercation with my wife," Degenhart said Wednesday in court. "I wrestled around with her. We got into a fight. It was late at night. We battered each other. I am really sorry for what I did. I am here to be held accountable for what I did."

Prosecutor Karen Dustman said she believed the offense was "more than mutual battery or we wouldn't have charged it."

According to reports, the victim suffered bruises above both eyes, scratches on her neck and chest and a swollen nose. She also had bumps on the back of her head.

When deputies arrived at Degenhart's home, the suspect was asleep. He denied punching the victim.


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