A Cache Valley man whose self-described unacceptable behavior led to multiple felony charges was sentenced to additional jail time and probation on Monday.
Judge Angela Fonnesback said though the act was “heinous,” the Utah court system believes people can be rehabilitated.
“People are redeemable,” Fonnesbeck said, “even at their very worst.”
In lieu of the state’s recommendation of consecutive prison sentences, Courtney Edward Wood, 32, was sentenced to 364 days in the Cache County Jail with credit for over 200 days served followed by 36 months of probation.
“You will follow this to the letter of the law,” Fonnesbeck said. “Zero tolerance.”
Defense attorney Wayne Caldwell told the court there was “a lot of tension” in Wood’s home and “excessive drama” involving another man at the time of the incident. Caldwell said Wood was blacking out during the incident and when he came to, Wood was disturbed at what he had done. The alleged victim, according to Caldwell, knew that Wood was “not there” during the incident, and did not agree with the state’s characterization of Wood.
The alleged victim did not address the court.
However, another alleged victim who filed a now-dismissed protective order against Wood in an unrelated case was allowed to address the court. She acknowledged it “odd” that she was included in this case, but told the court she was battered and abused by Wood.
“Courtney Wood is a menace — a monster,” she said.
A tearful Wood apologized to the court for his behavior and acknowledged his addiction to drugs and alcohol. He told the court his substance abuse problems amplified a period of grief in his life. Subsequent health issues developed from his abuse and trying to quit using — he asked the court for the opportunity to continue seeking the help he needs to recover.
“My behavior was unacceptable,” Wood told the court, “but I do not believe it defines me as a man.”
An arrest warrant affidavit from May 2019 stated police responded to a local hospital to investigate an incident of domestic violence. The victim appeared “severely beaten,” police wrote, with significant swelling of the face and eyes along with a broken nose.
Police wrote the dispute began over a text the alleged victim received from another man. After Wood accused the victim of infidelity, Wood allegedly beat the victim for several hours. At one point, Police wrote Wood used the butt of a shotgun to batter the victim.
Wood was arrested on May 18, 2019. On Nov. 27, he pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree aggravated assault, third-degree attempted kidnapping and class-A domestic violence in the presence of a child.