A man who punched his girlfriend in the face, fracturing her skull in three places, has been jailed for a maximum six months for misdemeanour assault.
Pacer Anthony Ferguson was also ordered by Yellowstone County District Court judge G Todd Baugh to write “boys do not hit girls” 5000 times.
Ferguson, of Billings, Montana, has to number the list, sign it and mail it to the district court judge by May 23, the Billings Gazette reported.
He was also ordered to pay $3,800 towards his girlfriend’s medical bills.
Ferguson admitted in court that he punched his girlfriend in the face during an argument on August 24, 2012.
His girlfriend, who had to have a permanent mesh titanium plate inserted, gave evidence during the four-day trial stating that she suffered from double vision when she looks up or down and has occasional numbness and pain in her face.
The jury convicted Ferguson of the misdemeanour assault charge. He was acquitted of more serious charges of felony aggravated assault and felony witness tampering.
Ferguson though had to appear was next before District Judge Gregory R. Todd for a disposition hearing on a sentence for a felony attempted robbery – he attempted to rob a man with a knife – in 2003.
“As you know, we’ve seen each other over the course of many years – from the start of my judgeship,” Todd told Ferguson, adding that he is going into his 14th year as a judge.
He ruled that Ferguson violated the terms of his release for the 2003 robbery multiple times, including the misdemeanour assault, and ordered him to spend eight years in Montana State Prison.
The sentence will run concurrent to Ferguson’s sentence for the misdemeanour assault.
Chief Deputy Yellowstone County attorney Juli M. Pierce said after the hearing that she respected the two sentences the judges gave Ferguson.
“We’ll continue to prosecute domestic violence cases no matter what the outcome is,” she said, shortly after Ferguson was taken into custody. “We’ll continue to fight that fight because that’s why we’re here – for the protection of the community.”