Mauricio Pedraza-Rodriguez, 23, of Hailey, was sentenced to 55 days in county jail along with $500 in fines and ordered to complete a 52-week batterers class after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors—an amended charge of domestic battery and violation of a no-contact order.

An amended complaint filed by the Prosecuting Attorney’s office on June 4 reduced a felony charge of domestic battery with traumatic injury to misdemeanor domestic battery and dismissed a misdemeanor charge of malicious injury to property.

According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Blaine County Sheriff’s Deputy Dina Mitma, Pedraza-Rodriguez called police to the residence that he shared with his then girlfriend around 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 8 and said that “he needed to go to jail.” Once police arrived at the home, Pedraza-Rodriguez told Mitma that he had called police because he didn’t want the situation to escalate.

By the time deputies arrived on the scene, the victim had a large welt on the top-right of her head and a broken finger after a verbal dispute had become violent. She told authorities that Pedraza-Rodriguez had “grabbed her hair and banged her head against the wall.”

Since 2014, Pedraza-Rodriguez has had almost a dozen criminal cases filed against him, including a conviction in 2015 for misdemeanor malicious injury to property by fire to public lands for starting the Colorado Gulch Fire west of Hailey in 2014. The fire burned 728 acres of sagebrush and grasslands in Croy Canyon.

Fifth District Magistrate Judge Jennifer Haemmerle spoke stern words before handing down the sentence Monday.

“To just simply say it got out of hand is not good enough. You inflicted an injury,” Haemmerle said. “You’re letting your emotions control you.”

Prosecutor Matt Fredback said that over the years, the court has made several steps to help Pedraza-Rodriguez stay out of the system, but nothing has worked. He said this newest sentencing is intended to teach a lesson and curb violent behavior.

“He needs to know this is serious. His behavior is criminal, and it can’t happen,” Fredback said Monday.