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3/15/2013 10:00:00 PM
Judge rejects plea as 'too lenient' in child assault case
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock rejected a plea agreement offered to man accused of physically beating two young boys, ages 4 and 6, as punishment, prompting him to ask for, and get, a new judge.

Jaccob Billiter, 34, was indicted on five counts of aggravated assault and two counts of child abuse.

Billiter had been living with his 23-year-old girlfriend in a camper in the 24000 block of N. Highway 89 in Paulden, where deputies were called July 10, 2012.

The six-year-old was found with a "significant injury to his head and dried blood on his face," said spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn. Deputies were told he had been held upside-down while being whipped with a hose as punishment for drinking out of the irrigation system. He had welts on his back from the hose, and the head injury apparently happened as a result of the child being dropped head-first, D'Evelyn said.

The four-year-old "had a visible injury on his forehead resulting from punishment by Billiter," D'Evelyn said. Paramedics took the boys to a hospital for treatment. A Child Protective Services report sent to Hancock in February said, "Both boys continue to present with significant behavioral and mental health issues."

Billiter was to be sentenced Friday, after pleading guilty to two counts of child abuse, each of which carried a maximum sentence of 3.75 years and up to lifetime probation.

But Hancock said last week that that agreement was "too lenient" and rejected it.

His attorney, John Hollis, petitioned Presiding Judge David L. Mackey for a change of judge and Mackey granted it.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Article comment by: To: Elvis

There are way tooo many to list. The judge can say yes or nay to any plea deal just like this case showed and up till now she has been the rubber stamp queen

Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

I applaud Judge Hancock. Thank you for rejecting a pompous plea deal. Wish we could do the same to this guy as he did to these helpless children, plus prison time. To the Bad Judge comment, what were you in jail for? And from my experience it is the Justice courts who set the bond, not Superior court, unless you had a warrant from the Superior court, which is what it sounds like with the few days you were sentenced to. And the Judges have guide lines they must follow, so suck it up, maybe next time you won't break the law.

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Elvis Cooper

@Points to ponder
What sweetheart deals are those? The County Attorney's office is the author of all plea offers. Any "sweetheart deals" originate with the prosecutor.

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Bad Judge

Too lenient...This judge is trying to write her own sentencing guidelines. Why didn't she just throw on some extra time like she did in my case? She agreed to 75 days and then threw on another 45 just because she could. And I only agreed to the 75 days because I was stuck in jail because of the outrageous bond I had that was set by her. She needs to go what she is doing is NOT RIGHT...Stand up to this abuse of power people before you get in her sights...

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Points to Ponder

I wonder what her political aspirations are? A lot of sweetheart deals in the last year have had her name attached to them. But now a no for to lenient? I was unaware she even knew what the word meant. I guess next election cycle will tell.

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