WALLA WALLA -- A man who earlier pleaded guilty to charges he held his wife at knifepoint and threatened to kill her in April was sentenced this morning to more than two-and-a-half years in prison.
Carl E. Adams Jr., 43, was ordered to serve 31 months despite emotional requests for leniency from himself, the victim and their daughter.
Adams, a construction worker, paused several times as he told Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht he is not a violent man and did not injure anyone.
"I'm not a criminal," he said. "I'm a productive member of my community."
Karen Adams said her husband of 28 years is a good person and "a truly nice gentleman."
"I love him and he loves me," she said, later adding, "I need and want my husband home."
She told Schacht she was partly to blame for what occurred. "We both started using drugs, both of us together," and it changed them and their relationship, she said.
Her sometimes tearful remarks were supported by the couple's daughter, LeAnn Adams, 25, who told Schacht her father is caring, sweet and loving, and doesn't belong in prison. "He's a real person with a very close family that needs him," she said.
But Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Mulhern said at the hearing, "This is one of the most serious domestic violence crimes we've seen."
Schacht told the family he had no choice but to order Adams to prison, but went along with a prosecution recommendation of the low end of the 31- to 35-month standard sentencing range Adams faced. Schacht gave Adams credit for the 113 days he'd already served in the County Jail, and placed him on community custody, a form of probation, for 18 months when he's released from prison.
Schacht decided not to impose a domestic violence restraining order, meaning the Adamses may have contact while Carl Adams is in prison provided there are no threats or menacing behavior.
Adams pleaded guilty July 6 to five domestic-violence crimes: second-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon, felony harassment, unlawful imprisonment while armed with a deadly weapon, tampering with a witness and violation of a protection/no-contact order. He didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged the prosecution has evidence that likely would convict him at a trial, so he wanted to take advantage of a plea agreement.
The case stemmed from a report April 6. Police said Karen Adams told an officer that she and her husband were in a motor home parked in the driveway at 1463 Francis Ave. that evening when he threatened her life. He continued threatening her while rubbing a knife on her body for several hours, according to a police report filed in court.
She reportedly said Carl Adams wouldn't let her use the bathroom, eat or leave. Eventually he made her sign over the title of her pickup and he left, officials said.
Authorities were notified and Carl Adams was arrested the following morning when he returned to the residence.
Officials said he also phoned his wife from the County Jail after he was incarcerated.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.