CANYON CITY – A Mt. Vernon man who previously pleaded guilty to six domestic violence- and drug-related charges was allowed a new court-appointed defense attorney to help represent him in court.
Matthew Eric Sagaser, 31, is also requesting permission to negate the guilty pleas.
Sagaser, court-appointed attorney Robert Raschio, and Grant County Judge William D. Cramer, Jr. met at the county’s circuit courtroom Monday, where Cramer granted Sagaser permission to replace Raschio.
Grant County Deputy District Attorney Matt Ipson is prosecuting the case.
Sagaser, who is being held at the Grant County Jail, will be represented by court-appointed attorney Ted Martin of Nyssa.
A status hearing is set for Dec. 23 where Judge Cramer will consider Sagaser’s request to drop the guilty pleas.
Sagaser previously pleaded guilty on Nov. 5 to:
• One count of coercion.
• Three counts of fourth-degree assault.
• One count of strangulation.
• One count of possession of methamphetamine.
Sagaser, who was arrested in early October, was initially indicted on 29 counts of domestic violence, including second-degree kidnapping, five counts of coercion, nine counts of fourth-degree assault, strangulation, four counts of menacing and nine counts of recklessly endangering another person.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office and John Day Police Department investigated the case.
The alleged abuse of the victim, a woman, took place in several locations within the county.
In the original indictment, Sagaser is alleged to have kidnapped the woman by secretly confining her in a place where she was not likely to be found. He reportedly committed coercion by threatening the woman to not leave an area, not tell hospital staff about the nature of her injuries and not tell a third-party about the cause of her injuries.
The woman was injured by Sagaser allegedly strangling her, striking her head against concrete, head-butting, kicking and elbowing her and shooting at her with a CO2 “airsoft” gun from within five feet, according to the indictment.