A 38-year-old Blaine County man was sentenced Monday to 120 days in jail for severely beating his wife in May.
Gerardo Finck-Garcia was given credit for 119 days already spent behind bars following his arrest on May 31 by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office. That made him eligible for release on Tuesday, but he won't be released from jail. Instead, he'll be held for pickup by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which filed an immigration detainer accusing him of being in the United States illegally.
At Monday's sentencing hearing in Blaine County 5th District Court, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback said Finck-Garcia originally came legally to the United States, but overstayed his work visa.
Finck-Garcia pleaded guilty in August to "domestic battery inflicting traumatic injury," a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The guilty plea came in accord with a plea agreement with the Blaine County Prosecutor's Office, which recommended a five-month jail sentence.
In addition to 120 days in jail, Judge Robert J. Elgee also gave Finch-Garcia a five-year suspended prison sentence.
"If you return to the United States illegally, you will have a chance to serve that sentence," the judge said.
With a felony conviction on his record, Finck-Garcia's chance of being legally allowed to return to the United States is unlikely.
He will leave behind his wife and three children.
He was charged with the crime for beating his wife at the couple's home at The Meadows trailer court south of Ketchum on the morning of May 31.
"Mr. Finck was becoming more and more jealous with his wife's communications with a former boyfriend," Fredback said in court. "Something inside of his head flipped. He beat her as she tried to run through the house. He ended up on top of her putting his knees on her arms and then punching her repeatedly in the face.
"That's the dark side of Mr. Finck-Garcia. If you look beyond this incident, he's lived a pretty good life."
In June, Elgee agreed to modify a no-contact order allowing Finck-Garcia's wife to communicate with him in jail.
Finck-Garcia apologized in court for his actions.
"I would ask the court to forgive me for the crime I have committed," he said. "I also ask forgiveness from my wife and children. I also ask for God's forgiveness because what I did was wrong."
"If there's going to be forgiveness, it has to come from your wife and children," Judge Elgee said. "Sometimes people in your situation ask the court for forgiveness, but that's not what the courts do."
Terry Smith: email@example.com