Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bellevue man gets ‘rider’ for beating girlfriend

Andrew Ho given opportunity to rehabilitate behind bars

Express Staff Writer

Andrew Phuoc Ho

A 22-year-old Bellevue man will get up to a year behind bars for severely beating his girlfriend in 2010.

Blaine County 5th District Court Judge Robert J. Elgee sentenced Andrew Phuoc Ho on Monday to a 365-day "rider" with the Idaho Department of Correction. Under the rider program, convicted felons are offered the chance of rehabilitation, typically at the North Idaho Correctional Facility in Cottonwood.

Elgee also imposed a suspended five-year prison sentence that can be reinstated if Ho fails at rehabilitation.

Ho was originally charged with attempted strangulation and domestic battery resulting in traumatic injury, both felonies, in an attack on his girlfriend at the couple's home in Bellevue on Oct. 3, 2010. The attempted strangulation charge has been dismissed in accord with a plea agreement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Ho pleaded guilty to the domestic battery charge in June.


According to a report filed in the case by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, Ho threw the woman down, choked her to the point that she couldn't breath and slammed her head into the floor when she tried to get up.

Elgee noted in sentencing that both Ho and the woman had been drinking when the incident occurred and that with intoxicated persons it's sometimes difficult to know exactly what happened.

"Usually, you know who gets hurt in the end of it," he said.

Elgee also noted that Ho has a history of misdemeanor charges and convictions and was on "the police radar screen."

"If you don't make changes, you'll be in here for something worse," Elgee said.

Ho, who had remained free on $10,000 bond, was taken into custody at the conclusion of Monday's hearing.

Terry Smith:

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