Man sent to prison for threatening girlfriend |

Man sent to prison for threatening girlfriend

by Sheila Gardner

A 28-year-old Indian Hills man was sentenced Monday to five years in Nevada State Prison for menacing his girlfriend with a hatchet.

District Judge Michael Gibbons rejected a request for probation and sentenced Joseph Lokting to prison. He said the defendant would be eligible for parole in 13 months, and gave him credit for six months in Douglas County Jail.

Lokting pleaded guilty to felony assault with a deadly weapon.

“You have a number of prior offenses, and in every single case – including a felony – you did not complete the sentence. Other courts have tried to help you, but there’s no follow through,” Gibbons said.

He said he agreed Lokting needed treatment.

“But history indicates you are not going to do that. It puts the entire community at risk,” Gibbons said.

Lokting pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, admitting he threw a hatchet that missed his girlfriend and hit a wall in the house he was sharing with his mother.

The victim testified Monday that she hoped Lokting would get probation so he could undergo treatment and return home.

Prosecutor Karen Dustman played parts of the victim’s interview with a Douglas County investigator after the January incident where she describes how Lokting threw the hatchet and threatened to kill her.

She said there had been earlier fights that she never reported.

Dustman showed the weapons to Gibbons, saying they were more substantial than the “small axes” described in the incident report.

Lokting’s mother – who was in the house when the incident occurred – said her son had anger issues.

“I want to get him help, on medication,” she testified in court. “He likes 12 percent beers. When he drank those, he turned into a monster. I know there’s a good person in there. I raised him.”

She said when her son was released from prison, he associated with former inmates, and maintained a “prison attitude.”

“Prison didn’t work,” she said.

Lawyer Derrick Lopez said Lokting was at the point where he wants help.

“While it was a bad event, in large part it is drug abuse and mental health issues. All have the potential of being addressed. He needs treatment. He knows he has family support. At this moment in time, he has a lot of incentive do it right. It will take a lifetime of work. Six months of sobriety gives him a good head start,” Lopez said.

Gibbons gave Lokting credit for 174 days in custody.