Judge Stephen Wallace rejected a deferred sentencing agreement for a local chiropractor during a Wednesday hearing at the Kodiak Courthouse.
Christopher Twiford, who was a chiropractor with Arctic Chiropractic, faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges from a Feb. 3 incident in which he allegedly assaulted his partner.
The charges include second-degree assault, a felony; four counts of third-degree assault, a felony; misdemeanor fourth-degree assault; and fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon, a misdemeanor.
The deferred sentencing agreement would have enabled Twiford to avoid a felony sentence if he abided by certain conditions for a yearlong deferred sentencing term.
Those conditions included a prohibition on alcohol consumption, undergoing a substance abuse evaluation and completion of a substance abuse program if recommended by the evaluation, completion of a domestic violence intervention program, and 80 hours of community work service.
The agreement would have allowed Twiford to plead guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct if he successfully abided by the terms of the agreement. No further sentences would have been imposed.
Twiford has not practiced as a chiropractor since the February incident. The deferred sentencing agreement would have enabled Twiford to resume practicing upon successful completion of the one-year term of the agreement conditions.
Wallace, in his decision, said he found the agreement too lenient.
“I don’t think that it’s appropriate given the conditions that are in it,” he said.
Wallace noted that the victim has indicated she does not necessarily believe Twiford should serve any time. While Twiford allegedly pointed a gun at the victim during the incident, she is not concerned about having a weapons prohibition imposed, Wallace said.
“She believes that if he gets treatment, that will be effective under the circumstances,” he said in his ruling.
The plea agreement was reached by District Attorney Gustaf Olson and Twiford’s attorney, Wally Tetlow.
Olson said Wednesday that he will attempt to negotiate a new plea agreement.
“Mr. Tetlow and I can go back to the drawing board,” Olson said. “We will take a new look in light of the court’s ruling.”
The next court date was set for Oct. 1 at 2:45 in the Kodiak Court.
In addition to the criminal case against Twiford, the victim filed a petition for a civil protective order on Feb. 12. A year-long protective order was granted Feb. 28.
According to House Bill 12, a victim can petition for a one-year extension of a protective order. HB12 was signed into law June 12 and went into effect Sept. 8.
The civil protective order also mandates that Twiford undergo a domestic violence intervention program.
Twiford called in to the hearing from Wasilla. According to court documents, he has resided in Wasilla since March.
At the time of the incident, Twiford was slated to start serving on the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board in March after being appointed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. However, Twiford’s name was immediately removed from the board after the Governor’s Office learned of the charges, according to an email from Dunleavy spokesman Matt Shuckerow.