WARSAW — A Warsaw man was sentenced Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Kosciusko County Superior 1 Court, after stealing money and medication from his roommate and then strangling her.
Daniel Ray Smith, 30, pleaded guilty to count I strangulation and count II theft, both level 6 felonies.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on March 18, an officer with the Warsaw Police Department responded to a battery call. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the victim, who advised that Smith had been living with her and had taken her rent money and refused to give it back. The victim stated that she and Smith had been arguing about the rent money when Smith placed his hands around her neck and began to strangle her.
The victim was unable to breathe and believed she was going to pass out. Smith then punched her in the face and left the residence.
The officer spoke with a witness, who advised he was outside the residence delivering papers on his paper route during the battery. According to the witness, the victim came out of the house and advised that Smith stole her money and medicine and choked her. The witness called 911 for the victim.
Another witness, who was outside at the time of the incident, advised she heard “a lot of fighting” coming from the apartment. The witness stated it sounded like the victim was being thrown around. She advised that she also heard the victim say she was going to call the cops.
The victim had visible red marks on her neck and the left side of her face. There was also blood on her sweatshirt.
At today’s sentencing, Smith’s attorney, Dana Leon, asked Judge David Cates to consider Smith’s substance abuse issue as a mitigating factor.
When Smith was asked if he would like to say anything, he addressed Cates, stating, “I’m sorry to waste your time.”
“Mr. Smith, you have acknowledged a definite problem directly related to substance abuse,” Cates said, “I’m going to accept your apology on the condition that you address that problem. That’s what needs to be done.”
Cates found Smith guilty of count I strangulation, a level 6 felony, and count II theft, a level 6 felony.
For the count I strangulation charge, Smith was sentenced to one and a half years in the custody of the Kosciusko County sheriff, with six months of that sentence suspended.
Regarding the count II theft charge, Cates sentenced Smith to one year in the custody of the Kosciusko County sheriff, with the sentence suspended.
The sentences are to be served concurrently. Suspended portions of the sentences are to be served on probation. Smith was ordered to obtain and maintain employment, to attend Bowen Center for assessments related to anger management and substance abuse, pay court fees and to have no contact with the victim. Smith was given jail time credit of 162 days.
The remaining charge of battery resulting in bodily injury was dismissed, pursuant to the plea agreement.
‘Mr. Smith, I hope you get the help you need,” Cates stated.