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Willmar man avoids jail time, to serve probation for domestic abuse incidents

Edgardo Ramon Benitez Nieves, 39, of Willmar will avoid jail time for both May and September domestic assaults provided he complies with his one year of probation.

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Edgardo Ramon Benitez Nieves

WILLMAR — A Willmar man will avoid any more jail time after being sentenced Nov. 23 in Kandiyohi County District Court to one year of probation for a May incident in which he was accused of biting and punching his girlfriend.

Edgardo Ramon Benitez Nieves, 39, pleaded guilty in August to misdemeanor domestic assault as part of a plea agreement that dismissed a felony charge of domestic assault by strangulation.

District Judge Stephen Wentzell sentenced Nieves to 90 days in jail but stayed 70 days for one year and credited him with 20 days already served.

Nieves was also ordered to undergo a domestic abuse assessment and cooperate with the batterer's intervention program.

Nieves was also sentenced Nov. 23 on a different misdemeanor domestic assault charge for a September incident in which he assaulted the same woman.

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He will again avoid any more jail time if he complies with his one year of probation in this incident as well. The sentences in the cases are concurrent.

Judge Wentzell stayed 76 days of a 90-day sentence and credited Nieves with 14 days for time served for that incident.

According to the criminal complaint in the May incident, Nieves assaulted the woman at a Speedway after accusing her of looking at someone else. He is accused of "putting his hands on her" in the store and biting her on the cheek in the parking lot.

The woman attempted to flee but Nieves forced her into the vehicle, where he "drove down some back roads and continued to bite her and punch her."

The woman attempted to get out of the vehicle multiple times during the drive.

Nieves was accused of choking her in a shared residence after forcing her inside. The woman told law enforcement she tried to defend herself by punching Nieves in the face a number of times.

Law enforcement estimated about four to five bite marks on her body, as well as multiple bruises and cuts on her face and wrists. The woman was taken to the Carris Health — Rice Memorial Hospital Emergency Department for her injuries.

Law enforcement found blood droplets in the vehicle and a ball of hair by the passenger seat and center console.

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In the September incident, a police report said the woman was assaulted and punched in the face.

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