Casper Man Sentenced to 20–40 Years in Prison for Third Domestic Battery in 10 Years
"My words matter. I'm important, I'm beautiful. Today I am speaking my truth," read the victim in an impact statement to the court on Thursday, Oct. 19. Her words painted a harrowing image of pain, isolation, and suffering caused at the hands of someone who was supposed to love and protect her. She said that when she tried to get help, he threatened to kill her.
John Anthony Fernandez was sentenced to 20–40 years in prison for domestic battery, a third time within 10 years. He will have credit for 411 days served.
He heard sentencing from Natrona County District Court Judge Kerri Johnson who said she was astonished at the amount of violence in his criminal history.
Johnson said Fernandez is "incredibly lucky" he is not going away for life. "There is no place in society for domestic violence."
Within the last two decades, Fernandez has been charged with sexual battery, stalking, stragulation, and violating several protection orders. That's not counting his non-violent criminal charges.
In today's hearing, Assistant District attorney Blaine Nelson showed photographs of Fernandez' abuse. "A color palette of pain," he stated, referencing bruising that covered the victim's entire hip. Further, Nelson presented the victimization of the children in this case who were also affected by the violence in their home.
Public Defender Diane Lozano pointed out Fernandez' own childhood, stating that he was adopted by his grandparents because "his mother did not want him." And while her client admitted to hurting the victim, she maintained that he is not beyond rehabilitation. Fernandez appeared in the courtroom wearing a blue shirt, indicative of a "pod worker" in the jail, a role that requires good behavior.
Fernandez was initially charged with two counts of sexual assault in the first degree, two counts of strangulation of a household member, two counts of domestic battery (3rd offense within 10 years), and stalking. However, all but one of those charges was dropped in a plea agreement with the state.
According to the victim in an affadivit supporting the charges, the abuse began in November of 2021.
The prosecution told the court that Fernandez would repeatedly harm and humiliate the victim: in one instance, Ferndandez hit her so hard she vomited, he then told her to pick it up with her hands and eat it.
"It was clear you got some satisfaction out of the trauma you caused me," read the victim in her statement. "I have no idea how I will ever recover or trust anyone again."
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