The hearing for John Woodward, former Sheriff of Martin County, took place today at the Martin County Courthouse in Stanton.
Woodward accepted a plea deal that was agreed upon by his defense lawyers and the victim, which was Woodward's former live-in girlfriend. Under the terms of this deal, Woodward plead guilty to a charge of Domestic Violence-Impeding Breath, a third-degree felony, and would serve 3 years probation. He is also mandated, at his expense, to attend a 30-day in-patient treatment program for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, along with the accompanying after-care program. He has also been ordered to attend anger management / batterer’s intervention classes, and will pay $30,000 in restitution. A protective order guarding the victim was also extended another two years.
District Judge Timothy Yeats advised that Woodward's guilt would be deferred. Should Woodward fail to complete the terms of the plea deal, he is subject to be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson told KBest News that the prosecution was fully prepared to go to trial. Wilkerson advised that the negotiations were developed within the last 24-hours between the defense and the victim. He also advised that the $30,000 restitution is meant to be used for not only medical bills, but also for relocation expenses.