The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 14, 2013

Man sentenced for child endangerment

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — By Samantha Pidde

Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — A 25-year-old Clinton man will serve prison time for injuries to a 6-year-old boy.

District Court Judge Mark Cleve sentenced Kolt L. Woodard to no more than five years in the custody of the iowa Department of Corrections for child endangerment. Cleve on Thursday said that after considering the defendant’s pre-sentencing investigation, he felt incarceration was the best sentence.

Woodard pleaded guilty on Sept. 5 to child endangerment, causing bodily injury. Court documents show police were dispatched at 12:31 p.m. July 23 to his residence at 661 Eighth Ave. South, for a report of a disturbance between Woodard and his wife.

During the argument, Woodard grabbed a 6-year-old boy he considered a son by the hair and neck, causing visible red marks and bruising on both sides, according to the affidavit. Woodard admitted to grabbing his “son” in court Thursday, expressing sorrow for his actions.

“I did what I did and I know what I did was wrong. And I take full responsibility,” Woodard said.

Assistant County Attorney Ross Barlow told Cleve that he was “on the fence” on what sentence he would recommend. He acknowledged the PSI’s recommendation of incarceration, based on the defendant’s history with similar incidents and outstanding warrants in other jurisdictions.

“The state is somewhat troubled in this case,” Barlow said. “I think it’s a very, very close call.”

With the defendant being 25, Barlow was hesitant to recommend prison. Barlow added that despite his criminal past, he felt that Woodard had never truly been held accountable for his actions. He said time in the residential correctional facility may help.

Defense Attorney Ryan Gerdes added that his client would like to finish his GED, complete anger management and substance abuse treatment. Since his client has never been convicted of a felony before, Gerdes asked that Woodard be given a suspended sentence and street suspension.

Cleve, though, said the defendant’s precedent for incidents of violence presented a concern for the community’s protection. He added that, according to the PSI, Woodard has not been compliant the other times he was under supervision.