A Twin Falls man has pleaded guilty to felony aggravated battery following an impromptu change-of-plea hearing Tuesday, a day before his jury trial was scheduled to begin.
Jeffery Stephen Lynn, 54, was originally charged on Nov. 18 with felony attempted strangulation and misdemeanor battery. On Jan. 2, an amended complaint was filed adding three additional misdemeanor charges of violating a no-contact order against the alleged victim. According to the amended complaint, Lynn attempted to contact the victim from the Blaine County jail on Nov. 19 and twice on Nov. 24. Lynn pleaded guilty to the amended felony charge in exchange for dismissal of the four misdemeanor charges.
Lynn’s attorney, John Sutton, and prosecutor Matt Fredback recommended that the court impose a three-year prison sentence; the maximum penalty for the offense is 15 years.
According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Ketchum police officer Michael Fuller on Nov. 19, Fuller was contacted by Blaine County Emergency Communications about an incident that had allegedly occurred on Nov. 17 at a hotel in Ketchum. The alleged victim was in Twin Falls and gave a statement to Twin Falls Police Officer Nikolas Gumeson on Nov. 18, the day after the alleged altercation. Lynn was taken into custody on Nov. 18 and has remained in jail with no bond.
According to the report, Lynn and the victim checked into a hotel in Ketchum and the victim went downstairs where there was dancing, which “Lynn was frustrated with,” and when she returned to the room they began to argue.
“Lynn punched her in the right side of her jaw causing her to be disoriented,” the affidavit states.
The alleged victim also stated in the report that Lynn placed both hands around her neck for five to 10 seconds, choking her. She said she began to kick Lynn several times in an attempt to free herself from his grip, and when she did, she called the front desk for help.
When the alleged victim went to the police in Twin Falls to report the crime, officers noted swelling and redness on the right side of her jaw, as well as bruising on her neck and wrists, according to Fredback’s statement in court Tuesday.
Lynn admitted to the court that he “caused her bruising and harm,” and that he put both his hands around her neck.
“I feel horrible over the whole situation,” he said through tears at Tuesday’s hearing.
This is not Lynn’s first guilty plea to a violent crime against a partner.
In 2012, he was charged with the same offense of felony aggravated battery and pleaded guilty to that charge in 2015. He was sentenced in November 2015 to a retained-jurisdiction program for sex offenders. In May 2016, the court relinquished jurisdiction, according to a Twin Falls County court clerk, because Lynn was unsuccessful in treatment or was not compliant. He was released from prison on Jan. 24, 2018, and put on felony probation. He was still on felony probation when this incident occurred.
Lynn is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 5.