PLYMOUTH - A local man convicted of assaulting a woman during a domestic violence incident in June could be in danger of losing what was originally agreed to be a suspended sentence.
Stephan Ramos, 25, appeared in Bristol Superior Court on Friday for what was expected to be a mere formality of a judge handing down a suspended sentence after state prosecutors and Ramos’ attorney reached a plea agreement in October.
At the October hearing, Ramos pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to one count of second-degree strangulation. An Alford plea means he disputes some of the allegations but acknowledges he could have potentially been convicted after a trial.
During the hearing Friday, Judge John Cronan refused to go along with giving Ramos a suspended sentence, as he was not the judge who accepted the plea agreement in October. Cronan cited multiple issues disclosed during the presentence investigation as his reasoning, saying the report was “extremely distressing.”
The judge said it is believed that Ramos may have been in possession of a gun while on probation for an unrelated crime. Cronan also cited the fear Ramos instilled in the victim as one of the reasons for his trepidation on the plea deal.
“You’re not getting a suspended sentence from me,” Cronan said.
Cronan, said if the decision was left up to him, he would vacate the plea and reach a new agreement that includes a period of prison time. Cronan continued the case to Jan. 29, when it is expected that the judge who accepted the plea deal will preside in Bristol.
According to state prosecutors, Ramos and the victim were involved in an argument on June 2, when the dispute turned physical. Ramos grabbed the woman by the shoulder and head-butted her, causing her to fall back and into a nightstand, prosecutors have said.
During the dispute, Ramos also punched the woman’s knee and strangled her. While he was strangling her, prosecutors have said, he threatened to kill the woman. The victim told police she was being strangled so hard that, at one point, she felt like she was going to black out, according to prosecutors.
According to prosecutors, the assault was not reported until June 14. At that time, the victim still had some swelling to one of her eyes.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.