Casper Man Gets 3-5 Years in Prison for Domestic Battery
A Casper man is headed to prison after being convicted in February of a felony domestic battery charge.
District Judge Catherine Wilking on Thursday sentenced 40-year-old Christopher James Leyo to a three- to five-year prison term for domestic battery as a third offense. Leyo will also have to pay over $5,400 to reimburse the victim for her medical bills.
Leyo was arrested in September after Leyo's then-girlfriend texted Leyo's probation officer, saying that Leyo had "put hands on her," and the officer called police. According to the affidavit, Leyo and the victim had argued all day and Leyo later "lowered his head like a bull," headbutting her and causing her to bleed.
The victim went to Wyoming Medical Center for treatment.
Before police arrived, Leyo reportedly told the victim that he would "hurt her and be on a new level of crazy" if she told police what had happened.
During Thursday's sentencing hearing, the victim told Wilking that she did not believe putting Leyo behind bars would help Leyo address the issues that led to the incident.
"Send him back to prison, it's going to do no good," the woman said.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer told Wilking that he found it difficult to recommend prison time for Leyo, as the victim had initially been reluctant to cooperate with police at first but ultimately went along with the investigation. Schafer cited a number of aggravating factors, including the fact that Leyo was on probation for domestic violence involving the same victim when the most recent incident occurred.
Public defender Kurt Infanger called Kyle Joiner, a clinical therapist at Central Wyoming Counseling Center, to the witness stand during Thursday's hearing. Joiner described Leyo as being "very engaged" with his treatment, which has included trigger identification and anxiety reduction among other elements.
When cross-examined by Schafer, Joiner said that Leyo has demonstrated behavior and attitudes consistent with anti-social personality disorder. Joiner later said that the disorder can be treated.
"I do feel he is sincere in really trying to change," Infanger told Wilking following Joiner's testimony. Infanger requested a sentence of probation.
"My criminal history pretty much reflects all my mental health," Leyo said in his statement to the court. "I know that my wife and my kids deserve a healthy, stable husband and dad."
"I've made leaps and bounds," Leyo continued. "Sending me to prison is going to be all for naught."
Before sentencing Leyo, Wilking pointed to his criminal history, which she referred to as "significant." She also felt that Leyo had not taken responsibility for the crime.
"And, quite frankly, I think there's a lack of remorse," Wilking added.
In her sentencing order, Wilking included a recommendation that Leyo receive intensive substance abuse treatment while incarcerated.