By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
CLINTON — A Clinton man charged with kidnapping the mother of his child could serve as much as 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to four related counts Thursday.
DeWayne Patterson, 39, pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree kidnapping, willful injury, domestic abuse, impeding an airway and causing injury, assault with the intent of committing sexual abuse, and causing bodily injury, after County Attorney Mike Wolf submitted amended trial information. The defendant was charged with kidnapping and domestic abuse charges on April 4, after his live-in girlfriend told police that he held her at their residence between April 1 and April 4.
Patterson offered an alford plea to District Court Judge Mark Lawson for third-degree kidnapping and assault with the intent of committing sexual abuse, causing bodily injury. With this form of plea, the defendant admitted no guilt for the charges, but agreed the minutes of testimony would establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. Lawson asked Patterson why he felt going to trial would not be in his best interest.
“I’d lose my life,” Patterson said.
Patterson was originally charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual abuse. Both class A felonies, these charges could each carry life in prison without parole. In exchange for pleading guilty, the state allowed Patterson to plead to the lesser included kidnapping charge and the sexual abuse charge will be dismissed during the sentencing.
Patterson’s attorney, Thomas Goodman, detailed any possible defenses he could use in a trial, including one related to the effects of synthetic marijuana. However, Goodman and Patterson agreed this defense was not likely to be successful. Goodman added that he had an investigator contact a number of witnesses and he engaged in several depositions.
“We feel there is sufficient information to establish for Mr. Patterson that this is in his best interest,” Goodman said.
Patterson did admit that between April 1 and April 4 he assaulted his girlfriend, causing serious injury. He also told Lawson that while trying to pull the victim out of their house, he grabbed her by her shirt, restricting her airflow. This caused bruising on her neck.
As class C felonies, the kidnapping and willful injury charges can each carry as much as 10 years in prison and fines of between $1,000 and $10,000. The domestic abuse and assault, with the intent of committing sexual abuse charges, are class D felonies and carry as much as five years in prison and fines of $750 to $7,500. The defendant will be required to pay a 35 percent surcharge to each fine and submit a DNA sample.
The assault, with the intent of committing sexual abuse charge, also carries a special sentence of 10 years to be served with the Iowa Department of Corrections for supervised parole or possible incarceration. Patterson will also be required to adhere to the sex offender registry regulations.
The kidnapping and assault to commit sexual abuse charges will be served consecutively to the other two charges, which will be served concurrently. This means Patterson could serve as much as 25 years in prison before his special sentence. The kidnapping, willful injury and assault charges also are forceable felonies, requiring prison sentences.
Patterson’s sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30. The court is bound by the terms of the plea agreement. If the sentencing judge does not agree to these terms, Patterson will have the opportunity to change his plea.