In the case of a man who had been accused of beating his female partner, Judge Jeffrey Hjelm rejected the agreement that was made between the defense and district attorneys office in Rockland, Maine on Wednesday.
The defendant, Peter J. McClure, 46, of Rockland, had been charged with felony domestic violence against his female partner. Since his arrest nearly 2 months ago, he has been held at Knox County Jail. There had been reports filed by the Rockland Police Department where 2 officers witness McClure strike the woman in the face during a domestic violence call. The hit was so hard the woman fell to the couch.
McClure was also charged with refusing arrest after he fought with the officers who tried to detain him. The victim told police he hit her with his fist in the face, and thrown a TV set at her.
The final agreement for sentencing given by the two defenses was seven months in jail, and that was something Justice Hjelm was not able to accept. The judge made it known he would not accept a plea any less than 9 months in jail for McClure.
McClure had prior multiple convictions with the same female. In 2009, he was convicted for domestic violence against the women. Then again in 2011, he assaulted the same woman and was charged – but the case was soon dismissed for a lesser plea to other offenses.
According to the defense attorney, James Mason, the proposed 7 month sentence for this case was much longer than any prior sentence McClure had received. His longest jail stay had only been 45 days.
Since the judge rejected the sentencing agreement given, it means that McClure’s guilty plea is now withdrawn. Meaning, McClure is able to plead guilty again if he chooses – and accept the judge’s 9 month sentence, or he would be able to take a chance and bring the case to trial.