A Dillon Valley East man accused of striking his wife of two weeks in the head with a hatchet accepted a plea deal with the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office just before Christmas.
Michael Newcomb, 45, pleaded guilty on Dec. 19 to one count of second-degree assault causing injury with a deadly weapon, a Class 4 felony. He was scheduled to go to trial beginning Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Newcomb was originally charged in Summit County District Court with attempted second-degree murder, second-degree assault with a weapon during the course of a felony and first-degree assault, all Class 3 felonies; two counts of menacing, a Class 5 felony; and third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor. All other charges have been dismissed as a condition of the plea agreement.
Newcomb is scheduled for sentencing at 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, before 5th Judicial District Judge Karen Romeo. The presumptive sentencing range for a Class 4 felony is two to six years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, three years of mandatory parole and a fine of $2,000 to $500,000.
However, the terms of Newcomb’s plea agreement stipulate a DOC sentence of six to 16 years. Extended sentences are permitted in cases when the crime is deemed an extraordinary risk or committed under exceptional circumstances.
Specific details about the prosecution’s offer and why it exceeds the presumptive sentencing range were not available at press time.
The charges against Newcomb stem from a Jan. 31, 2013, incident in which he allegedly attacked his wife with a hatchet and a pipe the family used as a doorstop, fracturing her skull, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit. The alleged incident was fueled by Newcomb’s suspicions that his wife was cheating on him, according to court records.
Dale McPhetres and Reed Owens, of the public defenders office, are representing Newcomb. The case is being prosecuted by deputy district attorney Mark Franklin.