BURLEY — A Declo man was sentenced to a treatment program Tuesday after deputies said he held a woman against her will in a car, punched and bit her in May 2017.
Officers said there were two one-month-old twin babies in the car at the time.
Under a plea agreement, Brett Thomas Southwick, 26, pleaded guilty using an Alford plea to charges of felony injury to a child and domestic violence that inflicted traumatic injury. An Alford plea is used when a defendant maintains innocence but admits a jury may find him guilty through the evidence.
Under the agreement, a second-degree kidnapping charge was dismissed.
Cassia County District Judge Michael Tribe sentenced Southwick to a therapeutic program run by the state department of correction known as a rider. After going through the program, which will take about a year, a judge will decide whether he should spend 1½ to 4½ years in prison or serve probation.
He was given credit for 473 days served in jail.
The prosecutor has until Southwick’s retained jurisdiction hearing to request restitution for the victim.
According to court records, a woman called the Cassia County Sheriff’s Office after she saw a woman screaming for help from a car window at Jack in the Box in north Burley.
The witness said Southwick took off at high speeds on the interstate toward Declo.
Officers found the car at a Declo home with a woman in the backseat breathing heavily and crying.
She told deputies that she was afraid of Southwick and that he had bit her arm, punched her in the face and slapped her at the restaurant. She screamed for help because he would not let her get out of the car.