Anchorage man gets 5 years for summer assault in Kenai

Posted: Wednesday, April 09, 2003

An Anchorage man convicted of a July assault in Kenai was sentenced in Kenai Superior Court on Monday to spend five years in jail.

Kenneth D. Ferguson, 36, was convicted of hitting, kicking and burning a woman with a piece of firewood during a camping outing at Captain Cook State Recreation Area.

Ferguson also was convicted of driving while intoxicated, driving while license revoked and reckless endangerment in the incident.

According to court testimony, Ferguson, the woman and Fergu-son's 8-year-old daughter went camping to the state park July 13, and the two adults began drinking heavily.

Ferguson then decided to end the outdoor adventure and go to a motel to clean up and spend the night. The woman, however, was too intoxicated to get up.

Testimony -- much of which came from the young girl -- revealed Ferguson began hitting and kicking the woman, trying to get her to get in his car. The girl, who had been roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the campfire, told the court her father grabbed a piece of wood from the fire and poked the woman in the stomach and backside.

The girl helped Ferguson put the woman in the car and the three headed toward Kenai to get a motel room.

When they arrived at the Kenai Merit Inn, the woman reportedly fell to the pavement in the inn parking lot and again could not get up. Ferguson again began kicking her, and the motel manager saw the assault and called Kenai police.

The woman was taken to Central Peninsula General Hospital, where she was treated for a broken wrist, a broken nose, multiple bruises and second-degree burns. Ferguson was taken to jail.

He later entered a no-contest plea to driving while intoxicated and was convicted of the other three charges.

He was sentenced to 11 years with six years suspended for the assault; 45 days in jail with 42 suspended and fined $2,000 with $500 suspended for driving while intoxicated; 20 days with 10 days suspended and a $50 surcharge for driving while license revoked; and 180 days with 180 days suspended for reckless endangerment.

In sentencing Ferguson, Judge Charles K. Cranston also ordered him to make every attempt to get into treatment while at Wildwood Pretrial Facility, ordered him to not use alcohol or controlled substances and to be subject to testing and searching for alcohol or controlled substances.

Cranston additionally ordered five years probation following Ferguson's release from jail. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

At the request of his client, defense attorney Moshe Zorea asked that Ferguson be allowed to have contact with the victim. The court permitted contact with the stipulation it be initiated by her.

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