LOGAN — A man accused of choking a woman to the point of unconsciousness in front of her child pleaded guilty to amended charges on Tuesday.
Benjamin Daniel Stoddard, 22, pleaded guilty to robbery, a second-degree felony; aggravated assault, a second-degree felony; aggravated kidnapping, a third-degree felony; and domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third-degree felony.
Cache County prosecutor Dane Murray told the court that Stoddard held the alleged victim in a choke hold from behind until she went unconscious. It’s alleged Stoddard then took a phone a phone from the victim’s pocket as well as her computer. Murray told the court the victim’s child — under the age of 3 at the time — was present during the incident.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the alleged victim was packing a bag to leave Logan, which upset Stoddard though he “did not yell.” The victim told police she was leaving Logan out of fear of Stoddard and believed he was trying to kill her during the incident.
Stoddard was initially charged with aggravated attempted murder, a first-degree felony, though the charge was amended to aggravated assault.
Defense attorney Diane Pitcher said in an email to The Herald Journal that Stoddard’s case has been “difficult and complex.” She said Murray worked diligently with her law office to render a resolution that considered the complexities of the case while allowing justice for the victim.
“We firmly believe the charges as brought against Mr. Stoddard did not reflect the reality of what actually transpired,” Pitcher said, “and that if the case were to proceed to trial, Mr. Stoddard would be able to successfully challenge some of the charges.”
Pitcher said she will now be working with the state to get Stoddard a fair sentence — one that considers the victims and Stoddard as well.
Stoddard is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 4.