Original article posted March 23, 2010
FAIRBANKS, Alaska--A man accused of beating his wife for an hour after she stabbed him in the leg pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge Monday.
Robert Cronkhite, 24, of Fairbanks, agreed to spend six months in prison and serve three years of supervised probation in a plea deal with the state. He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor.
Cronkhite was arraigned Feb. 22 for two counts of second-degree assault, a felony. One charge was amended to fourth-degree assault and the other was dismissed in the plea agreement.
According to a criminal complaint, Cronkhite's wife told officers he beat her for an hour. She said he threw objects at her and charged her, prompting her to stab him in the thigh with a steak knife. Cronkhite then choked her until she passed out, then kicked her repeatedly when she regained consciousness, the complaint stated.
The victim chose not to cooperate with the prosecution.
“I'm really troubled that the victim has chosen not to protect herself or help herself by participating in this case,” Assistant District Attorney Joe Dallaire said.
Bill Satterberg, Cronkhite's attorney, said the incident was “a very loud wake-up call” for the couple to repair their relationship.
“They're both very good people,” he said.
Cronkhite's terms of probation include a stipulation that he cannot contact his wife without both her consent and the approval of his probation officer. The victim's attorney, J. John Franich, said the victim will request contact with Cronkhite.
Cronkhite had not previously been charged with a crime in the state, according to the court system's online database.