Man faces prison term in beating, threats

Joseph A. Davis pleaded guilty to four felonies in connection with a November disturbance.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man accused of beating his girlfriend and threatening to stab her and her sister during a disturbance in November has pleaded guilty in Walla Walla County Superior Court to four felonies.

Joseph A. Davis, 21, could be locked up for about 31/2 years after entering the guilty pleas Thursday to two counts of third-degree assault and one count each of tampering with a witness and intimidating a public servant.

Based on his past criminal record, Davis faces a standard-range prison term of 33 to 43 months when he's sentenced later. The prosecution is recommending he serve 40 months.

Police said Davis punched and hit his girlfriend, Shelly Yeley, in the head, neck, ribs, back and shoulder following a verbal argument between the two Nov. 17 at 309 E. Sumach St., No. 3. Davis also reportedly displayed an open lock-blade knife and threatened to stab and kill Yeley.

In addition, he held the knife to the chest of Yeley's sister, Yvonne Yeley, according to a police report filed in court.

Officers arrested Davis -- who was intoxicated -- after arriving at the scene. Shelly Yeley was transported to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment of her injuries.

The police report says Davis told an officer who took him to jail that he would find out where the officer and his family lives. Davis also reportedly told Chad Long, another person at the scene, he needs to watch what he says.

In pleading guilty Thursday, Davis didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged the prosecution has evidence to convict him.

Davis initially faced second-degree assault charges, which were reduced to third-degree assault in exchange for his guilty pleas.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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