Clinton man sent to prison for domestic violence

A man who committed two felony-level assaults of women in an eight-month period was sent to prison Monday.

Dederick R. Norwood Jr., a 24-year-old Clinton resident, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to assault in the second degree, malicious mischief and assault in the fourth degree with sexual motivation. All the charges were domestic-violence related.

Under a plea bargain, the prosecution and defense gave a joint recommended sentence of three years and nine months in prison, which is an exceptional sentence beyond the standard range.

Also as part of the plea bargain, the prosecution dropped a rape charge.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme explained that the victim was somewhat reluctant to testify and had “a different opinion on some of the things that occurred.”

Defense attorney Steve McKay said the victim’s story changed in regard to whether there was a sexual assault.

McKay said Norwood had served in the Army in Afghanistan and had some history of mental health problems. His alcohol use was also “extreme,” the attorney said.

Judge Alan Hancock imposed the recommended sentence, saying that it was an “extremely serious incident.” He told Norwood that it was very important for him to respect other people.

Norwood was also ordered to obtain a psychosexual evaluation and a mental health evaluation after getting out of prison and comply with any treatment recommendations.

On Nov. 7, a woman at a Clinton home reported that Norwood hit her and choked her after she refused to have sex with him.

She ended up getting away after he dragged her, threw her and ripped off her clothes, the police report states. She ran to a neighbor’s house for help, covered only by a blanket according to court documents.

He spray-painted offensive remarks about her on her walls after she left.

Norwood served a jail sentence last year after he punched an Oak Harbor woman in the face after she refused a sex act. She suffered a fractured skull.

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