NORWICH – A case with domestic violence overtones played out in Chenango County Court last week, involving a plea that left both sides angry with the outcome.
Twenty one-year-old Robert A. Mowers II pleaded guilty to felony second degree reckless endangerment, in an Alford plea, over allegations that he attacked and beat his long-time girlfriend, causing multiple fractures to her jaw and chipping her teeth. The Alford plea, allowed by New York state law, acknowledges no wrongdoing on the part of the defendant, yet accepts punishment for the crime in lieu of a trial.
Mowers was arrested after the April 18, 2008 incident, outside of a Drake Lane apartment in New Berlin, recently rented by the couple.
“You’re not admitting anything, you’re just pleading guilty in the technical legal sense,” explained Defense Attorney Scott Clippinger.
Madison County Court Judge Donald Cerio accepted Mowers’ plea arrangement with the District Attorney’s Office and sentenced him to one year interim probation. If successfully completed, one year from July 1, the court could reconvene and allow Mowers to plead to a reduced misdemeanor instead. However, District Attorney Joseph McBride reminded Mowers that if he violates any of the terms of his probation in that time, he faces up to seven years in state prison.