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Man placed on probation in domestic battery case

Crime Watch

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IDHAO FALLS — A local man has been placed on two years probation for his role in a domestic battery case.

Jason Lee Bell, 38, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery after reaching an plea agreement with Bonneville County prosecutors. The Alford plea agreement dropped a felony attempted strangulation charge and reduced a felony domestic battery charge to the misdemeanor.

In an Alford plea, the defendant continues to assert their innocence but admits a jury would likely find them guilty with the evidence presented.

Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Bell in December after a woman at a Bonneville County home said Bell attacked her. Charging documents indicate Bell and the victim were drinking whiskey when the attack happened and the victim struggled to describe the attack because of intoxication.

The victim said Bell pushed the door open and put both his hands around her neck, choking her. After almost losing consciousness, the victim claimed Bell grabbed a blanket and placed it over her mouth and nose before eventually letting her up.

RELATED | Man accused of trying to smother woman with blanket

The victim declined any medical care from the Idaho Falls Fire Department, who arrived at the house.

Deputies spoke with Bell, who said he did not like the victim being drunk and hid the whisky bottle from her. Bell said once taking the bottle, the victim went “crazy” and began hitting herself. Bell denied ever strangling the victim or putting a blanket over her and called all the injuries “self-inflicted.”

Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard handed down the sentence and also ordered Bell to pay $257.50 in fees and fines.

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