Utah resident Bryan Chadd Briggs, formerly of Jackson, was sentenced Sept. 28 to 2-to-6 years on the charge of aggravated assault and battery after being accused of biting, kicking and choking his former partner in December.
Briggs, 45, was arraigned in March on charges of felony strangulation and domestic battery in Teton County District Court. The second charge was dismissed, and the first was amended to aggravated assault and battery.
Briggs entered an Alford plea to the latter charge, meaning he, while maintaining his innocence, essentially pleaded guilty because the court had sufficient evidence to prove guilt, according to court files.
District Court Judge Timothy Day recommended Briggs receive 236 days of credit for his time spent at the Teton County Jail so his actual sentence will likely be between about 16 months and just under 3-and-a-half years.
Briggs’ attorney, Ethan Morris, had asked Judge Day for supervised probation, but Day declined, saying it would “unduly depreciate the seriousness of the offense and is therefore inappropriate.”
Additionally, Judge Day recommended that Briggs “participate and complete all available therapeutic programs for domestic violence, anger management and substance abuse treatment.”
That recommendation comes with Briggs’ qualification as an addicted offender under Wyoming’s Addicted Offender Accountability Act, which requires any person convicted of a felony to receive a substance abuse assessment.
Briggs has 30 days to appeal the sentencing order. As of last week, his attorney, Ethan Morris, said he didn’t know whether he planned to appeal.
“It wasn’t what we hoped for, but it’s difficult to please everyone in a case like this,” Morris said.
“I don’t envy the judge in a case like this,” Morris continued. “It’s tough, and there are a lot of factors at play that the judge had to consider.”
Staff at the Teton County and Prosecuting Attorney’s Office declined to speak about the case by press time Tuesday but did provide Briggs’ sentencing terms.
The 45-year-old was booked at the Teton County Jail on a $100,000 bond Feb. 17 and remained there as of press time Tuesday. The court ordered the Teton County Sheriff to transfer Briggs to Wyoming Department of Corrections custody within 10 days of the sentencing order.
Briggs was first arrested in December, but he got bonded out and then picked up on another warrant in February.
Prosecutors warned the court that lowering the defendant’s bond might put community members at risk.
“This is a serious violent felony,” Teton County Deputy Prosecutor Carly Anderson said in court in March. “Mr. Briggs has an aggravated assault in his criminal history as well as a simple assault, which shows he has violent tendencies.”
Detectives with the Teton County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the victim in December at her work.
Editor’s note: The following account includes graphic details depicting domestic violence. If you’re a victim of domestic violence or find this coverage triggering, you’re encouraged to call the Community Safety Network at 733-7233.
In charging documents, investigators noted the woman had two cuts on the front of her nose and had “visible light black-colored bruising in the middle of her chest and on both of her arms.”
The woman told police Briggs was at her house when he got “moody” and started looking through messages on her phone.
“On Dec. 4 while making lunch Briggs yelled at her because she had burned a grilled cheese sandwich and was mad she had to go to work that evening,” court documents state.
The victim told detectives Briggs chased her, grabbed her face and slapped her before pushing her up against the kitchen sink and kicking her in the back and legs.
The woman said she kept trying to get away, but Briggs pinned her against a door and bit her on the nose before grabbing her neck and throwing her to the ground.
She said Briggs choked her three separate times and told her he would kill her. The woman told police she genuinely thought Briggs was going to kill her, according to documents.
Police found blood spots and bloody rags and a broken planter during a search at the victim’s house.
She told detectives in a follow-up interview that Briggs had contacted her from a blocked number and said, “You better start watching your back.”
Judge Day warned Briggs during a March hearing not to have any contact with the alleged victim.