AUGUSTA — A Jefferson man pleaded guilty Tuesday at the Capital Judicial Center to a charge of domestic violence criminal threatening that occurred Dec. 4, 2016, in Augusta.

Matthew A. Ramsden, 24, formerly of Augusta, was sentenced to 270 days in jail, with all but five days suspended — which he’s already served — and two years of probation.

In exchange for the pleas, the state dismissed charges of aggravated assault and obstructing report of crime or injury.

Conditions of probation prohibit Ramsden from contact with the victim and from use or possession of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Judge Evert Fowle cautioned Ramsden, saying he has “265 days hanging over your head. It’s important to comply with conditions.”

The woman identified as the victim told the judge, “I would like to see him get some kind of counseling, therapy.” She said she wanted mental health therapy for his anger and depression, adding, “I don’t see a reason for jail time.”

Fowle added a condition requiring Ramsden to undergo mental health evaluation and counseling, if necessary. Neither Ramsden nor his attorney objected.

The probation is to terminate once Ramsden completes a certified batterers’ intervention program.

According to an affidavit filed in court by Augusta police Sgt. Christian Behr, police were called to a North Belfast Avenue address where Ramsden’s girlfriend told them the couple had argued and “several times he stood in front of her and grabbed onto her throat and squeezed hard.”

The woman said that “one time he squeezed her throat for about 15 seconds, she could not breathe, felt light-headed and her knees went numb.” The woman also told police Ramsden spit in her face while doing so.

The woman’s roommate told police she heard Ramsden threaten to kill the victim and bury her in the backyard.

Behr also said that during an interview with the victim, she told police that a May 23, 2016, crash occurred because Ramsden grabbed the steering wheel of the vehicle she was driving and swerved off the roadway. That crash occurred on Route 3 in Augusta.

The couple initially told investigating officers that an animal had crossed the road and the woman had swerved to avoid it.

Nothing about the crash was mentioned during Tuesday’s hearing.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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