SOMERVILLE MAN SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS FOR STRANGULATION

  
Evan Szarf
(Washington Co. Jail)

A Somerville man has been sentenced to prison on two counts of assault and one count of drug possession.

40-year-old Evan Michael Szarf was found guilty after a bench trial of Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member by Strangulation with a Previous Conviction, Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family Member with a Previous Conviction, and Possession of Methamphetamine 1-4 Grams.

After a hearing Wednesday on punishment, Judge Carson Campbell sentenced Szarf to imprisonment for 10 years, 5 years and 2 years, respectively.

The case stemmed from an incident in October 2020 where the victim called 911 after being struck by Szarf.  Szarf admitted to striking her, and it was later determined through interviews that he had also strangled her during the assault.  While being booked into the Washington County Jail, jail staff located a bag of methamphetamine in his pocket.

During the trial, the State presented testimony from the officers in the case as well as the victim.  Additionally, there was expert testimony from a forensic nurse examiner at Baylor Scott & White regarding the signs and dangers of strangulation.

During the punishment hearing, officers from other jurisdictions presented testimony of assaults on the same victim by the defendant.  Prosecutors also presented evidence of multiple other convictions for felony drug possession, DWI and family violence.

Assault by strangulation is typically a third degree felony, but it is raised to a second degree when the person has a previous family violence conviction.  Assault Causing Bodily Injury with a Previous Conviction and Possession of 1-4 Grams are both third degree felonies, but were enhanced one degree due to Szarf’s prior felony conviction for Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More.  Respectively, the punishment ranges were imprisonment for 5-99 years or life, 2-20 years, and 2-20 years.

The State was represented by Assistant District Attorneys Derek Estep and Lauren Haevischer.  The defendant was represented by Aaron Kleinschmidt.

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