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Mitchell man pleads guilty to assaulting girlfriend

A Mitchell man pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated domestic assault.

Joel Ward, 55, entered his plea during court at the Davison County Public Safety Center.

Ward said he threatened his girlfriend with a weapon. While court documents say he threatened her with a knife, Ward told the court he wasn’t sure what he used.

He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, a $30,000 fine or both.

Judge Tim Bjorkman agreed to allow Ward to attend an intensive inpatient treatment program in Black Hawk, starting later this month. Bjorkman ordered a furlough for travel time for Ward to drive himself to the Black Hills Recovery Center.

Bjorkman ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for December.