The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

January 10, 2013

Rural Joplin man enters plea in deal with prosecution

JOPLIN, Mo. —

A rural Joplin man pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge and was assessed a suspended sentence for an assault on a woman less than four months ago.

Chad E. Hutchens, 43, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to misdemeanor assault in a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office. Associate Judge Richard Copeland assessed Hutchens one year in jail, with execution of the sentence suspended and the defendant placed on probation for a year.

Hutchens had been facing a felony count of second-degree assault for allegedly grabbing Katrina Gibbs by the neck, throwing her to the ground and breaking her ankle during an argument Sept. 27.

Gibbs told a sheriff’s deputy that she was called to an address to pick up her boyfriend because Hutchens was trying to start a fight with him. She told the deputy that when she arrived, she asked her boyfriend if Hutchens was “the drunk guy” who was trying to fight him, and Hutchens took offense and attacked her.

The judge ordered Hutchens to complete anger-management counseling and drug and alcohol dependency treatment at the Ozark Center.

The defendant also was ordered to pay $228 in restitution to Gibbs.

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