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Ex-Deputy Pleads Guilty to Battery

May 13, 2000|TRACY WILSON

A Ventura County sheriff's deputy accused of assaulting his wife at the couple's Thousand Oaks home has pleaded guilty to two charges of misdemeanor battery.

Gary Hughes, 41, was indicted in October on five felony counts, including battery, false imprisonment, making a terrorist threat and exhibiting a weapon in a threatening manner.

Hughes originally denied the charges, but changed his plea this week after prosecutors agreed to reduce two charges of spousal battery to misdemeanors. The remaining charges are expected to be dismissed at sentencing June 1.

Ventura attorney Kevin DeNoce, who represents Hughes, said his client agreed to the plea because "he did not want to put his family--his wife, his children--through the emotional tumult of a trial."

Hughes faces up to one year in jail. But DeNoce said he does not expect his client will receive such a sentence.

The case effectively ends Hughes' career in law enforcement. Under federal and state law, a person convicted of any domestic violence offense loses his or her right to own or possess a firearm.

Hughes, an 18-year member of the department, has been on administrative leave since his arrest. But officials said he recently resigned.

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