COEUR D’ALENE – A judge has sentenced an Idaho man to at least three years in prison after he admitted lighting his girlfriend on fire after a Valentine’s Day outing.
Dustin Hieronymus pleaded guilty to domestic battery as part of a plea agreement, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported .
Hieronymus, 38, was originally charged with aggravated battery, third-degree arson and felony domestic battery, which carry a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, authorities said. The plea agreement allowed defense attorneys to argue for a lesser sentence.
Hieronymus was on probation at the time of the attack after being convicted of aggravated assault in a 2015 case and had served part of his sentence, Judge Richard Christensen said. The girlfriend, 27, said Hieronymus has a mental illness and should not go to prison.
The woman suffered cuts and burns to her arms and face, and her hair was burned, police said.
“This is a very disturbing case,” Christensen said. “The sentence would have been lengthier had I not heard from the victim.”
Christensen said the latest charge reflected a pattern of violence.
“It’s a repeat of your previous behavior,” Christensen said.
Defense attorney Zachary Jones asked that Hieronymus be allowed a second chance at a prison rehabilitation program and be allowed to attend mental-health court.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.