Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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November 20, 2012

Clinkenbeard pleads guilty to domestic abuse assault

Knoxville — Donald Eugene Clinkenbeard, 42, of Knoxville, pled guilty to domestic abuse assault this morning in Marion County. 

Clinkenbeard, who is currently facing several other charges, entered the plea based upon an agreement made between Assistant Marion County Attorney Nicole Olson and his attorney, Jamie Hunter. Based upon the agreement, if Clinkenbeard meets pre-sentencing requirements and is sentenced to prison, the State could drop the other charges. 

"The court will approve and accept that plea agreement," Judge Steve Guiter said. 

The maximum penalty for the charge to which Clinkenbeard pled guilty is five years in prison and a $7,250 fine. The minimum sentence is one year in prison and a $750 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 28 at 1:30 p.m. 

"I understand all of this," Clinkenbeard told Guiter after being apprised of the rights he was waiving, to make the plea, and the potential punishments he could face. 

In his own words, Clinkenbeard told the court, that on Sept. 3, "I threw Connie's phone against the wall and broke it." The State also sought Clinkenbeard's guilty plea to tampering with a witness. To explain what he did to be guilty of that, Clinkenbeard said, "I texted Chris a couple times. The messages weren't very nice." 

A presentence investigation has been ordered. Clinkenbeard is not in custody, but is required to wear a SCRAM device that tracks his whereabouts and lets law enforcement know if alcohol is found in his system. Guiter told him if there were any violations, Clinkenbeard would be brought into custody.

"We've talked about that before," Guiter said. 

A search of Clinkenbeard's criminal history on Iowa Courts Online show that, over the years, Clinkenbeard has had four aggravated misdemeanor, 23 simple misdemeanors, eight felonies (and at least seven arrests for domestic abuse), four OWI cases and 13 serious misdemeanor cases filed against him since online records began being kept. Those numbers reflect cases filed in Marion County. 

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