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Man gets prison term for kidnapping

WILLMAR—Despite a request for leniency, a Willmar man convicted of kidnapping his estranged wife was sentenced Monday to more than three years in prison.

Judge Jennifer Fischer ordered Cesar Octavio Garcia-Gonzalez, 38, to serve 41 months in prison.

In an agreement reached in July, Garcia-Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, a felony. Seven additional charges, including stalking, assault and domestic assault, were dismissed as part of the agreement.

According to court records, he confronted his estranged wife as she was leaving her Willmar workplace on the morning of March 1, backed his car onto the sidewalk, knocked her down with the vehicle and forcibly lifted her into the back seat.

He was arrested a few hours later near Hutchinson, where he had taken his wife for medical treatment. Bloody clothing with dirt and grass stains, along with a single athletic shoe, were found inside the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

In a memorandum to the court, Garcia-Gonzalez's legal representative asked for a downward departure from sentencing guidelines, contending he acted out of momentary panic in a desire to keep his family together.

Garcia-Gonzalez showed up for every court appearance and cooperated throughout the process, according to the memorandum, which concluded he was amenable to probation.

His prison term starts immediately. He will receive 45 days as credit for time already served in the Kandiyohi County Jail. The judge also ordered him to supply a DNA sample and register as a predatory offender.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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