The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 15, 2012

Man pleads guilty to domestic assault

A 32-year-old Joplin man has changed his plea to guilty in a felony domestic assault case.

Morgin R. Smiles pleaded guilty to second-degree domestic assault at a hearing Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court in a plea agreement with the county prosecutor’s office. The plea deal would limit the prison time he might be assessed for the conviction to four years.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane delayed formal action on the plea bargain and ordered the completion of a sentencing-assessment report. The judge set Smiles’ sentencing hearing for July 23.

Smiles grabbed his estranged wife, April Smiles, 29, by the throat, pinning her against a vehicle, during a domestic dispute Feb. 23 in the 2300 block of South Range Line Road, according to police and court records.