Thomas K. Bennett’s inability to curb his temper with female partners will cost him seven years in state prison.
Calling Bennett a ‘danger to women,’ Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry handed down the prison term Friday after reviewing the 61-year-old Auburn man’s record, which showed a history of criminal convictions for domestic violence.
Prosecutor Karin Bjork of the Placer County District Attorney”s Office urged the judge to impose the seven-year sentence.
‘This defendant has three prior convictions for domestic violence,’ Bjork said. ‘Plus, he threatened one other victim. I think Mr. Bennett has gotten all the chances that he should.’
Curry was in agreement.
‘He is now 61 and his behavior is not abating,’ Curry said. ‘He doesn’t seem to understand his violence toward women.’
Bennett”s latest conviction came in October when a trial jury found him guilty of inflicting corporal injury upon a cohabitant and of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, both of which are felonies.
Evidence in the trial showed that Bennett beat and choked a cohabitant during an argument at an Auburn apartment on March 24, 2010, and that he put his hand over the woman’s mouth as if to suffocate her.
Judge Curry added that Bennett had admitted to special allegations that he had previously been convicted of domestic violence and had served prior prison terms for those, meaning that a judge could tack on extra years in prison for his latest conviction.
Bennett spoke briefly to the court, saying he was ‘devastated’ by the outcome of his jury trial.
He asked whether people in the courtroom had ever been in the position of having to prevent injury to both a partner and themselves, and he indicated that it sometimes calls for extreme methods.
‘It’s difficult,’ he said.
But Curry said he had a problem with Bennett’s record of trying to deal with situations.
‘He has violence toward women,’ he said. ‘I feel he is a danger to women, regardless of his statement to the court.’