MICHAEL D. CRAIG, d/o/b 1-23-1972, of Caruthersville, was sentenced to ten (10) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on Thursday, October 1, 2015, for committing the felony of domestic assault second degree. Craig’s sentence was handed-down by Taney County Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson, following a sentencing argument in which Craig’s lawyer argued for the judge to place Craig in a treatment program as a condition of probation.

Craig pleaded guilty to the domestic assault second degree charge on September 16, 2015, and remained in jail pending his sentencing on Thursday. The State’s evidence was that on August 17, 2014, Craig punched his girlfriend several times in the face and choked her during an argument in their apartment in Branson, Missouri. Craig’s girlfriend was later taken to the hospital for her injuries; Branson Police officers were then notified by hospital staff of the woman’s injuries and responded to the scene to speak with the victim. Craig’s girlfriend admitted to officers that Craig had caused her injuries. Craig was taken into custody later that day.

Domestic assault in the second degree is a class C felony, carrying a maximum sentence of up to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine. However, because the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office had charged Craig as a prior and persistent felony offender, the maximum punishment was enhanced to up to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.