Man makes guilty plea to domestic violence

A Waterford man whose December argument with his wife turned violent and threatening pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to a felony count of domestic violence.

Everette L. Crites, 37, of 890 Rainbow Road, agreed to facts about the incident presented by Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider and ultimately pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony charge.

Crites and his wife had been involved in a verbal argument on Dec. 21 which turned physical, said Schneider.

“The defendant grabbed her by the throat and accosted her physically and then made some threats about doing her in, doing himself in,” he said.

The events unfolded in the presence of children related to the victim. The victim’s teenage nephew made the call to police, said Schneider.

Crites denied most parts of the confrontation but admitted getting physical with his wife and making statements about ending their lives, added Schneider.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth, who was acting for Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane, asked Crites if Schneider’s description of the incident matched facts.

“Yes, your honor,” said Crites.

Crites was eligible for the felony charge because of three prior domestic violence charges, two in Ashtabula County and one-another felony-in Washington County, said Schneider. However, in exchange for Crites’ plea, the prosecution agreed to drop language in the charge that acknowledged the priors in Ashtabula County, reducing the domestic violence charge against Crites from a third- to a fourth-degree felony.

“The amendment is made with the consent and authorization of the victim in this case. She was aware of that and aware the crime changed from a third-degree felony to a fourth-degree,” he said.

Crites attorney, Ray Smith, said he had no objection to the amended charge.

Due to a recent change, Crites will have to travel to SEPTA Correctional Facility in Nelsonville for his interview with their organization, said Burnworth. Previously candidates for the treatment and skills based facility could be interviewed via a video call. Sentencing in the case is scheduled for 8 a.m. July 22 and will be conducted by Lane, said Burnworth.

Crites faces up to 18 months in prison on the charge.