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Man pleads guilty to domestic assault

A man accused of pulling out his wife's hair, hitting her and repeatedly biting her during an incident in Duluth pleaded guilty Tuesday to fifth-degree domestic assault.

A man accused of pulling out his wife's hair, hitting her and repeatedly biting her during an incident in Duluth pleaded guilty Tuesday to fifth-degree domestic assault.

Pedro Garcia-Felipe, 31, entered the plea before 6th Judicial District Judge Sally Tarnowski in St. Louis County District Court. A charge of violating an order for protection was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

According to police reports, Garcia-Felipe came home about 1 a.m. Sept. 5, 2010, after being out drinking. His wife was upset because she had been up with the couple's two children, ages 3 and 7 months, the previous three nights and she wanted some help with their care. The woman said she and her husband argued about his alcohol use and about him losing his keys.

She said Garcia-Felipe pulled out clumps of her hair. She bit him on the finger in self-defense. She said she was holding onto her baby during the alleged assault. She said her husband took the baby away and began to hit her in the head with a television remote control.

While he continued to pull her hair, he poked his finger into her right eye and bit her in several areas.

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Responding Duluth police officers saw bite marks on the woman's body. She had a black eye and multiple areas of bruising. No injuries were observed on Garcia-Felipe, according to police reports.

Garcia-Felipe's wife said he had beat her with belts when they lived together in Mexico.

"The victim was part of the discussion that we had in terms of deciding whether to accept this plea agreement," Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson said after the hearing. "Because this is a conviction under domestic assault, if there is another domestic assault-related conviction within 10 years, that second assault would be elevated to a higher offense."

To demonstrate the severity of the victim's injuries, Johnson said the plea included a stipulation that the police report and photographs of the woman's injuries be entered into the court file for future reference.

Neither Garcia-Felipe,

nor his attorney, could be reached for comment Tuesday. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Related Topics: CRIME
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