Casper Man Gets Prison for Assaulting, Strangling, Restraining Woman
A Casper man who previously admitted to assaulting, strangling and restraining a woman in late May was sentenced to a term of imprisonment Tuesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
District Judge Thomas Sullins sentenced 47-year-old Damon Flanagan to an 18- to 72-month prison term for aggravated assault and battery. Concurrent to that sentence, Flanagan will also serve two 18- to 60-month sentences: one each for strangulation of a household member and felonious restraint.
"I'm not a violent person, your honor," Flanagan said before being sentenced. He apologized to the victim, as well as their nine-year-old daughter, for his crimes.
Charging papers say Flanagan carried the victim into the back of a van in the 1200 block of South Cedar Street after the two argued about the victim's supposed infidelity and Flanagan's jealousy.
A man saw the incident, which occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on May 30, and called police. An officer located the van near the Sunrise Shopping Center about 45 minutes later.
After finally stopping the van -- driven by Flanagan, who initially failed to pull over -- an officer approached and saw the victim banging on the rear window of the van, screaming for help.
Before police could get to the van, Flanagan took off. He continued northbound for about four blocks before stopping again in the 2800 block of South Poplar.
Flanagan was pulled from the van and arrested. The victim later told investigators that she thought Flanagan might drive the van off a cliff in order to kill both of them. She believed she was going to die, according to court documents.
The said Flanagan had placed her in a headlock, strangling her some 10-15 times to the point of her vomiting.
Flanagan was initially charged with aggravated kidnapping and strangulation of a household member, and could have faced 25 years to life plus five years imprisonment had he been convicted on those charges.
Kurt Infanger, Flangan's public defender, said in court Tuesday that the case had been "overcharged" in the beginning. He added that, while he doesn't believe in victim-blaming, she shares some of the fault.
"Her actions did contribute to what took place this day," Infanger told Sullins, adding that he victim took responsibility for her role.
In arguing that Flanagan be sentenced to time at the Casper Re-Entry Center as well as supervised probation, Infanger said the victim did not want to see Flanagan be severely punished.
Although Flanagan has a criminal history, Infanger argued, he has not previously been convicted of violent crimes.
"Bad choices were made. He had alcohol on top of that, tempers flaring, and it just blew up," Infanger said.
Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk described Flanagan's criminal record as "anything but short."
"We have a situation where the man who is the father of [the victim's] child strangled her to the point of her vomiting inside the van," Schenk told Sullins. He explained that the incident resulted from jealousy issues, and recommended Flanagan complete a domestic violence assessment as well as follow up on any recommendations to come out of that assessment, such as completing a batterers intervention group.
Sullins, in finding that probation was not appropriate in Flanagan's case, cited Flanagan's previous criminal convictions, his prior difficulties in successfully completing probation and the three crimes of violence in this case.
Sullins noted that Flanagan "absconded" from supervision in 2007 and had either failed to comply or failed to appear on fifteen previous occasions.