The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 7, 2012

Webb City father assessed sentence for domestic assault

By Jeff Lehr
news@joplinglobe.com

— A Jasper County judge on Monday sentenced a Webb City man to eight years in prison for choking his girlfriend and kicking his 2-year-old son during a domestic disturbance in January.

Robert L. Comfort, 24, changed his plea to guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court on a charge of second-degree domestic assault in a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office that capped the sentence he received at eight years.

Comfort was being prosecuted as a prior and persistent offender and could have received up to 15 years for the conviction. He has a previous conviction from 2010 for second-degree domestic assault and a conviction from 2005 for felony possession of a controlled substance.

Comfort was arrested on the charge Jan. 28 after a disturbance at his apartment in the 200 block of North Main Street in Webb City.

The defendant’s girlfriend and mother of his son called police to report that he had been abusive to her and was chasing her down an alley, according to a probable-cause affidavit. An officer found the woman hiding behind a building on West Daugherty Street and crying hysterically, the affidavit states.

She told the officer that Comfort had choked her, kicked their 2-year-old son and threatened to kill them both. She said he struck her five times in the back of her head and then wrapped a cell phone charger cord around her neck and choked her, yelling that he was going to kill her. Their toddler son entered the room at that point and began telling him to “leave Mommy alone,” she told police.

She told police that Comfort’s response was to kick the child away from him and to tell her that he would kill them.

Comfort was arrested a short while later after some alleged resistance, according to the affidavit.





Waiver

The defendant waived his right to a sentencing-assessment report as part of the deal, and Circuit Judge David Dally assessed the prison term.