An Orcas Island man was ordered to serve five months in jail, or five months on the county work crew, on the heels of a second conviction for a domestic violence felony assault.
On July 12, Michael Jason Turner, 36, was sentenced in San Juan County Superior Court to five months in jail, and ordered to pay $1,428 in fines, fees and restitution. He pleaded guilty in mid-June to third-degree assault, a Class C felony that carries maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both; however, the standard range of sentencing set by the state is 3-8 months in jail.
Under the sentence handed down by Judge Don Eaton, Turner will be allowed to serve five months on the Sheriff Department's supervised work crew in lieu of jail. He can also receive 60 days credit off the amount of time served by successfully completing of an in-patient substance abuse treatment program. He is slated to begin serving the sentenced Aug. 27.
According to court documents, Turner admitted to assaulting a woman in mid-February whose home he shared, and with whom he had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship over the past three years. The two were engaged at the time that a late-night heated dispute over their relationship, and over possession of an engagement ring, erupted into a prolonged altercation at their Deer Harbor home.
After the woman reportedly hit him in the face, Turner, according to court documents, retaliated by wrestling her down onto the kitchen floor and tried to yank the ring from her finger as the two struggled and while he kept her pinned to the floor.
Following his arrest, Turner was initially charged with second-degree assault, a Class B felony, and with one count of unlawful imprisonment. He pleaded guilty to the lesser felony offense in mid-June and the other charge dismissed.
The recent conviction for felony assault is the second for the 36-year-old Orcas Island man, who, in 2003, was convicted of second-degree assault for an attack on his then-wife.
— Scott Rasmussen