A West Sacramento man has been sentenced to 21 years in state prison for attacking his girlfriend and then threatening her in an effort to prevent her from testifying against him.
Michael Robert Hernandez III, 33, pleaded no contest to two "strike" felonies and multiple enhancements, including assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, infliction of great bodily injury due to domestic violence and dissuading a witness, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. He was sentenced March 7 by Yolo Superior Court Judge Paul Richardson.
On Oct. 11, 2012, West Sacramento police officers were dispatched to a residence on Circle Drive regarding a report of a fight between Hernandez and the victim. A verbal argument became a physical fight when Hernandez pushed the woman to the floor and choked her, causing her to nearly lose consciousness before he released his grip, officials said. Hernandez then reportedly punched and kicked the victim multiple times. While the woman was lying on the floor, Hernandez straddled her and choked her again, this time to the point of unconsciousness.
When the victim regained consciousness, Hernandez reportedly was going through her cell phone and threatened to hit her with a bicycle lock to prevent her from using her phone. The victim finally was able to use another phone to call a nearby family member for help.
Hernandez left the house before police officers arrived. The following day, however, he telephoned the victim and asked if she were going to testify against him. When she replied that she was, Hernandez told her he was driving around looking for her with a gun in his lap and threatened to shoot her in the head, officials said.