L'ANSE - A Baraga man pleaded no contest in Baraga County Circuit Court Monday for a 2011 incident in which he broke into a man's apartment and repeatedly stomped on his head.
Douglas Garver, 33, pleaded to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, a 10-year felony. Five other charges, including the life felony of attempted murder, were dismissed in a plea deal.
Garver pleaded no contest due to potential civil liabilities, said Baraga County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph O'Leary. Instead, O'Leary offered proof based on the police report and preliminary hearing transcript of Garver's co-conspirator, Daniel Nieskes; he pleaded guilty last month to third-degree home invasion.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Douglas Garver, right, sits with his attorney Derek Swajanen during a plea hearing in Baraga County Circuit Court Monday.
Early on the morning of May 22, Nieskes burst into an apartment and attacked one of the people inside. Garver ran to the back room where his victim was in bed.
"Mr. Garver dragged (the victim) from bed, threw him to the ground and began leaping up and down on his head," O'Leary said. "There was a lot of yelling about 'I'm going to kill you,' things of that nature."
After one of the people in the apartment removed Nieskes, he kicked the door back in. The same person later struck Garver in the head, rendering him unconscious. Nieskes took Garver from the apartment and into a waiting vehicle.
The deal does not include any agreements on sentencing. O'Leary said the sentencing guidelines put Garver in a flex position between jail and prison time; O'Leary plans to advocate for prison.
Garver's sentencing is scheduled for sometime during the week of July 9.