Sunday, October 02, 2022

Plea deal reached in battery case

Staff Writer | September 22, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint man accepted a plea agreement Monday in connection to a battery charge.

Daniel Joseph Romero, 32, had been set to face a felony charge of battery for domestic violence inflicting traumatic injury. He had entered a not guilty plea this June for this charge.

Last week, the jury trial was vacated and a change of plea hearing was scheduled. Romero accepted a plea deal in which he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge of domestic violence without inflicting traumatic injury. In return the first charge was dropped.

The former charge carried a potential $10,000 fine and 10-year prison sentence. Instead, Romero faces up to a $1,000 fine and six months in county jail.

The charges stem from an event on May 30 of this year. According to court documents, Romero’s neighbor called the police after they allegedly saw Romero drag someone by their hair across the street.

According to court documents, it was alleged that Romero grabbed the victim by the chin or mouth. After that, the victim said they did not want to fight that night.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the pair stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and decided to cross the street. But, according to the victim, as soon as they crossed the street to start their cigarettes, the situation changed.

At that point, the report says Romero “instantly turned.” It was at this moment that Romero is alleged to have grabbed the victim by the hair and to have dragged the individual across the street.

According to Idaho Code, felony domestic battery is applicable when the aggressor “inflicts traumatic injury” which is defined as “a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by physical force.”

According to court documents, both were intoxicated.

Romero told officers he had not consumed much alcohol before blowing a 0.321 BAC on a responding officer’s LifeLock breathalyzer.

According to Romero’s version of events given to law enforcement that night, the altercation began outside and never got physical. He also told officers he did not remember anything, according to the affidavit.

Romero will be sentenced on Oct. 28 at the Bonner County Courthouse.

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