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Man convicted of ax attack admits to parole violation

Posted: November 4, 2011 - 12:07am

A Juneau man who served time for throwing an ax at his wife may be headed back to prison.

Todd E. Richards, 48, admitted Monday he violated parole, and is slated to be sentenced today in Juneau Superior Court.

Richards was found guilty of third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal mischief in the fourth degree in July of 2009. Court documents show the Juneau Police Department received a call from his wife she was assaulted by Richards, and when she attempted to flee the residence, he followed her outside. When she tried to leave in her car, Richards threw an ax through the vehicle’s windshield, “barely missing (her) head.”

The pair is still married, but separated.

The woman fled to an area downtown and contacted JPD, an affidavit indicates. JPD later confirmed the windshield was broken and an ax was laying on the front passenger’s seat.

Other court documents describe Richards being in a “drunken state” at the time of that incident.

He was sentenced to 24 months with 12 suspended for the assault, and 12 months with six suspended for criminal mischief of damaging property. The time to serve was concurrent, and the time suspended was consecutive.

Richards was released to probation supervision in December of 2010 for a duration of three years, and went missing for about four months this year after he didn’t report to the probation office, according to a petition to revoke probation.

A bench warrant was out for his arrest, but defense attorney Eric Hedland said in court Richards turned himself in in September. He is currently in prison and is being held on a $5,000 cash performance bond.

A judge is scheduled to decide today in a disposition hearing if he will have probation revoked.

Court documents show Richards has a lengthy criminal history that involves domestic assault, restraining orders, five or more misdemeanors and criminal trespass.

• Editor's note: This article has been changed to show Richards and his wife are separated, not divorced. Also, Richards' priors include five or more misdemeanors, not misconducts involving a controlled substance.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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