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Monroe corrections officer jailed in alleged assault on wife

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By Eric Stevick
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- A corrections officer at the prison in Monroe found himself behind bars Tuesday after he was arrested for investigation of assaulting his wife.
Medical records described more than 75 bruises to the woman's body, according to court records. A nurse from Valley General Hospital in Monroe told police that bruising was found from the woman's head to her feet.
Emergency room staff also told police that it appeared to be one of the worst cases of ongoing assaults they could remember, according to court records.
"It's so tragic when you see families so affected by this type of abuse," Monroe Police Department spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.
The correctional officer was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of three counts of assault.
A judge set bail at $50,000 Tuesday and ordered that the officer have no contact with his wife.
That's the bail amount Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Chris Dickinson was seeking. He argued that a high bail was warranted because the allegations describe "a series of severe beatings."
A defense attorney asked for $10,000 bail.
The correctional officer, 29, works in the special offender unit for mentally ill prisoners at Monroe, state Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis said. The officer started working at the prison in 2007.
Monroe Correctional Complex Superintendent Scott Frakes will determine what action to take once the officer is released from custody, Lewis said.
In an interview with police, the woman described an abusive nine-year relationship. She said her husband would strike her with fists, elbows and knees and use a stranglehold on her. She said he struck her with a gun once and pressed a gun to her body and made verbal threats on another occasion.
She told police he hit her in the stomach and pelvis July 20.
She alleged that he choked her during an assault at their home on Monday.
She said she grabbed her two young daughters and left the house and hid in an alley until a relative could pick them up.
On Tuesday, the corrections officer walked into the Monroe Police Department and said he wanted to give his side of the story, according to court records.
He said his wife held the barrel of a gun to his face and threatened him during an April altercation.
He said he used different arm holds to control her when there were physical disputes.
He told police his wife instigated a fight July 20 by striking him with a dog collar while he "balled up" on the floor. He said he eventually put her in a headlock until she would stop fighting.
He also said he used self-defense on Monday when he struck her in the face, using a "hammer fist" strike technique he learned in defensive tactics training, according to court papers.
"We are continuing to investigate," Willis said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446,
Story tags » MonroePrisonAssault

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