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Former Superior city councilor Graham Garfield has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years probation following a plea bargain and sentencing hearing on Monday.
Garfield was arrested in April 2017 following a domestic assault against his now ex-fiance. He was charged with first-degree reckless endangering of safety, operating a firearm while intoxicated and disorderly conduct. He was also originally being charged with intentionally pointing a firearm at a person, but that was dismissed. All of these are domestic abuse charges.
Garfield pled “no contest” in court, meaning he suffers many of the same consequences as a guilty plea without admitting guilt. No contest allows a defendant to avoid a trial.
He stepped down from his seat as a city councilor following the arrest last April. He was met with pressure from the community and Mayor Jim Paine to resign from the seat he was sworn into just two days earlier.
“It is obvious to me that Mr. Garfield cannot and should not continue to represent his constituents while he faces criminal charges, and I am demanding his resignation,” said Paine last spring. “It is important that we do not minimize the severity of the situation or attempt to move on.”
The case has been in court for over a year. Garfield’s lawyer, Chris Gramstrup, said he would be hard-pressed to recall a case he had spent more time on.
Although the charge of intentionally pointing a firearm at person was dismissed, it was still read in for consideration of his sentencing. His ex-fiance attended and read a statement to the judge about her experience.
“While I am grateful that I have been spared the trauma of testifying to a jury or even dismissal, I cannot help but be disappointed that our system allows my attacker to bargain down what he did. The most dangerous and serious charge of all is only read in. If only I could bargain down the impact this has had on my life,” she said.
Judge Kelly Thimm said that her statement pulled on his heart strings. A few in attendance of the sentencing could be heard crying as she spoke. Afterward, when Garfield was given the opportunity to make a statement, he apologized to her.
The joint recommendation for Garfield’s sentence, 30 days in jail, two years probation, the lack of ability to ever obtain a firearm and loss of voting rights, were accepted by Judge Thimm, who ordered Garfield to report to jail no later than July 12.