REXBURG — A 29-year-old Sugar City man has been sentenced to a 10-year prison term for choking a woman who was driving a car with him and two children as passengers.
Devin Kadrlik was arrested March 14 on felony charges of attempted strangulation and injury to a child.
As part a plea agreement, Kadrlik pleaded guilty to the strangulation charge and prosecutors amended the felony injury to a child charge to a misdemeanor.
On the evening the crime took place, Kadrlik had been drinking alcohol in Idaho Falls and was given a ride to Rexburg by a woman he was in a relationship with. Kadrlik grabbed her by the throat and choked her until she lost consciousness as she drove, according to court documents. A 5-year-old and 4-year-old were also in the vehicle.
During sentencing Monday, Madison County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rob Wood recommended a three- to six-year prison term with an opportunity to take part in a specialty court or a RIDER program offered by the Idaho Department of Correction.
“He has no record of previous violence,” Wood told the court.
Kadrlik’s defense attorney James Archibald also recommended a RIDER.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” Archibald said. “Mr. Kadrlik is looking forward to getting better. Abusing and battering (the victim) was just so inappropriate and wrong and he realizes that.”
Kadrlik told the court he made a huge mistake that he wished he could take back.
“I’m still not 100 percent sure why I did what I did that day, but now I can see more then ever the extreme damage I caused,” Kadrlik said.
District Judge Gregory Moeller told Kadrlik his case was probably the worst and most outrageous case of domestic violence he had ever seen.
“Four people could have easily died in this incident,” Moeller said. “This is exactly the type of crime this court has an obligation to protect the community from.”
Moeller said the recommendations Wood, Archibald and the pre-sentece investigator were “shocking” given the serious nature of the crime.
“You savagely attacked (the victim) while she drove a car with two of your children in the back seat,” Moeller said to Kadrlik. “She reports that you first grabbed her by her throat, then you grabbed her by the wind pipe and she reported she could hear crushing. You admitted that you drank over 20 beers.”
Moeller told Kadrlik he understands that it’s hard for children to be separated from their father, but safety is equally as important.
“Sometimes no father can be safer then a dangerous father,” Moeller said.
Moeller sentenced Kadrlik a ten year prison term with two years fixed time and eight years indeterminate.
Archibald asked if Moeller would reconsider a RIDER program and the judge responded, “A lesser sentence would depreciate the seriousness of this crime.”
Despite the requests of the victims, Moeller chose to uphold a no-contact order, preventing Kadrlik and the victim from communicating.
Archibald indicated he would be appealing the sentence.
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Idaho State Journal staff