A man convicted of aggravated assault in 2018 received a shortening of his sentence Tuesday in felony court at the Davison County Public Safety Center.
Eustace Miles, 51, who has lived in both Mitchell and Moorhead, Minnesota, had his sentence changed to allow for two years of his sentence to be suspended. Originally, Miles was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with five suspended. Giles granted another two suspended years on Tuesday, bringing the suspended portion to seven years, and shortening the sentence to eight years.
Miles received the initial sentence in January 2018 after pleading guilty to aggravated assault in 2017 for punching the victim, hitting her with an extension cord and a belt in 2016. He also used a pair of scissors to stab the victim in the ear, puncturing her eardrum.
Jeff Larson, arguing for the state, said that Miles’ asking for a modification to the sentence was “frankly an insult to the victim.” He cited Miles’ extensive criminal record, and said that Miles has only been in prison for less than two years. Miles is not eligible for parole until 2024.
“He’s had many second chances in his life,” Larson said. “We are still at a point where he deserves to be punished.”
Miles’ attorney, Douglas Papendick, outlined that Miles has already paid his more than $5,100 in restitution, fines and court costs, and said he has had excellent behavior as an inmate. Miles also had Vickie Hendrickson, who works for a firm in Fargo, North Dakota, that finds temporary employment for people, speak in support of Miles’ character. Hendrickson was also in a relationship with Miles for 18 months until he was sentenced, and said they have had plans to get married. She said she had never had never seen Miles act in the way he was described in his conviction.
Miles apologized for the pain he caused, and said he’s worked to be a productive citizen, telling the court that the event was life-changing and he would never do it again.
Judge Chris Giles said that in his 30-year career, it was among the worst assaults he's seen, describing Miles’ behavior to the victim as “torture.” He compared Miles’ behavior with the victim and Hendrickson to that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Giles said good behavior had earned the shorter sentence, but provided a warning, as well.
“I’m not letting you out, but I’m trying to weigh a balance,” he told Miles. “But do this (crime) again, and you’re probably not getting out.”