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Broward Man Charged In Aggravated Battery To Plead No Contest

A man accused of beating his wife in a judge's chambers during a divorce proceeding last year has entered an open plea to the court, hoping a judge will show mercy during a sentencing hearing later this month.

Broward Circuit Judge Geoffrey Cohen, who handles felony domestic violence cases, that he understood he could face a maximum of 15 years behind bars for the aggravated battery charge, plus another year for a resisting arrest without violence charge, in the April 15, 2011, attack on his estranged wife.

The alleged victim suffered a broken nose and a fractured jaw when the defendant allegedly attacked her from behind. Deputies had to pull the defendant off his wife and subdue him with a stun gun.

Under state law, the minimum sentence for the defendant, accoridng to his sentencing guidelines, would be about four years and three months.

The defense attorney said she would be asking for a downward departure, a legal ruling that would permit him to sentence the defendant to less than the minimum prison term required by law.