Local News

Rinehart sentenced Monday for felonies, misdemeanors

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51 year old Robert Rinehart of Wrangell was convicted of two felonies and four misdemeanors earlier this summer.

His sentencing hearing was Monday, November 18th.

The jury found Robert Rinehart guilty of two class C felonies for assault in the third degree.

Officer Joe Paul fingerprinting Robert Rinehart. Also pictured: Judge Kevin Miller and Kirsten Swanson – Photo by Shady Grove Oliver/KSTK

Both were for repeated threat of injury or death to the two victims involved.

The honorable judge Kevin Miller presided.

He sentenced Rinehart to two years for each count, with 18 months suspended on both.

There were three class B misdemeanors. Two were for violating conditions of prior release. Rinehart was sentenced to 20 days imprisonment for both.

The third class B misdemeanor was for criminal mischief in the fifthdegree, for less than $50 damage to property.

For that, he was sentenced to 90 days with 80 suspended.

There was one class A misdemeanor for assault in the fourth degree and reckless injury.

Judge Miller sentenced him to 120 days with 100 suspended for that count.

Rinehart will spend a total of 1 year and 70 days in jail.

Due to the Domestic Violence nature of the crime, Judge Miller also sentenced him to four years probation upon release as well as enrollment in a program for batterers.

Defense Attorney Kirsten Swanson suggested that an anger management course might be more appropriate for Rinehart, rather than the extended program for batterers.

William Eblen is a felony probation officer based in Sitka.

He was present at the sentencing hearing via telephone. Eblen said it’s important for a person with a history of domestic violence to be involved in a behavior modification program, rather than just a quick course.

“There’s a lot of literature out there that batterers need a batterer’s program that is specific to the power and control involved in domestic violence situations. I thought we had gotten through the idea that a 12-hour anger management program will solve his problem,” said Eblen.

Eblen went on to say that there is a statewide problem with domestic violence that needs to be addressed.

“The state of Alaska is the most dangerous state for women and children becaue of the epidemic levels of domestic violence. And this voice that a 12-hour program will fix him is ludicrous. Those are all of my comments, your honor,” said Eblen.

After receiving his sentence, Rinehart requested to make a comment. A word was  edited from the comment to protect the identity of the victims.

“I’d just like to state that I will not be a threat to [the victim's] family. As far as I’m concerned, it’s in the past,” said Rinehart.

At the trial earlier this summer, the jury dismissed a seventh charge of Assault in the 4th degree for reckless injury.

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