A Hailey man has been sentenced to 57 days in jail followed by two years of probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic-battery charge that was originally a felony charge of attempted strangulation and a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery enhanced by the presence of a child.
Andrew Ho, 30, was sentenced on Tuesday, after a nearly two-year process that resulted in a hung jury and ultimately led to a plea agreement being reached rather than another jury trial being convened. Ho was put on trial in February for an amended charge of felony domestic battery or assault following a previous domestic-violence conviction. The three-day trial ended with a hung jury on Feb. 28, at which point the prosecution asked for a new trial.
The new trial was scheduled to begin in June, but instead a plea agreement was reached between the defense and the prosecution that included the amended criminal complaint of misdemeanor domestic battery.
Ho was charged in February 2018 for an incident that occurred at his residence in Hailey, which he shared with his then-girlfriend and 13-month-old son.
According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Hailey Police Officer Tony Munoz, he and Sgt. Manuel Ornelas responded to the Balmoral Apartments in Hailey on Feb. 10, 2018, after a report of a verbal domestic dispute in progress. Once officers arrived at the residence, the victim was seen with “an injury to her upper lip. … A reddish abrasion was also noticed on her chin,” the report states. The victim also had a “reddish mark by her shoulder near the collar bone on the right side.”
Ho previously pleaded guilty in 2011 to felony domestic battery in a plea deal that dismissed a charge of felony attempted strangulation. The charges stemmed from a 2010 incident in which Ho injured his then-girlfriend in a fight at their Bellevue home. In that case, Ho was sentenced to a one-year rehabilitative rider program and a suspended five-year prison sentence. After violating his terms of probation in 2014, he was again sentenced to a rider, and in May 2017 was released from probation after now-retired Judge Robert Elgee found Ho’s story of rehabilitation and determination to turn his life around to be credible.