On Tuesday in Teton County District Court, a judge denied Matt Seals’ request to attend rehab ahead of his sentencing.
Judge Timothy Day said he has allowed such requests previously, but those cases were not violent.
“This court has allowed defendants awaiting sentencing in other matters to attend inpatient treatment,” Day said. “But they are mainly nonviolent drug cases. This case is obviously different.”
Senior Assistant Public Defender Elisabeth Trefonas filed a motion on furlough for Seals, stating that her client was willing to go to rehab in Cody.
“Teton Bail Bonds is available to provide an ankle monitor to Mr. Seals,” Trefonas said in court.
Trefonas said Seals recently got married while in custody at the Teton County Jail and that his new wife is looking for work that will provide medical insurance for both of them and their new baby.
“He has thought long and hard about this request,” Trefonas said.
Teton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Clark Allan strongly objected to Seals leaving jail as he awaits sentencing.
“The court has absolutely no reason whatsoever to trust this defendant,” Allan said. “He has run once, and now he’s asking you to release him with the person who was his partner that assisted him in running the first time.”
After Seals was arrested but before he was convicted, he bonded out of jail and took off to Massachusetts before he was arrested and brought back.
Trefonas said part of why Seals skipped town was because “he was receiving death threats from the community.”
A Teton County jury convicted Seals of aggravated assault and battery, strangulation, and other various counts of domestic battery against an ex-girlfriend after a four-day trial.
Seals then pleaded guilty to an extra count of aggravated assault against another ex-girlfriend in a separate case. The state dismissed several other battery charges in the plea agreement.
“There is no reason for the court to believe that the defendant is going to do what he says he is going to do,” Allan said.
Allan said that even if Seals wasn’t a flight risk, for the felon to attend rehab now is useless to long-term rehabilitation.
“When someone goes to treatment, they learn skills on how to lead a sober life on the outside,” Allan told the court. “This defendant won’t see the light of day for a decade or more.”
Seals’ sentencing has not yet been scheduled. It will be set after probation and parole finishes pre-sentence investigations.