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June 19, 2021

6/11/2021 10:33:00 AM
No contest plea for Hanson

By Kasi Greenwood
While Jason Hanson has entered a plea in his case, the sentencing hearing will have to wait for a couple months.
Hanson stood in front of Iowa County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Kohler Thursday morning during a plea hearing. He has been charged with one count of aggravated battery, one count of misdemeanor battery, one count of criminal trespassing, and one count of obstructing an officer.
These charges were filed when Hanson was accused of causing great bodily harm to Michelle Leahy on September 19, 2019 after he entered her home that evening. Michelle Leahy and Robert "Bubba" Smith said they had paid Hanson to pour concrete steps to their basement, as well as install a concrete patio in their backyard.
However Leahy and Smith stated that the project had been done poorly, and they informed the contractor (identified as Billy Lawinger), whom Hanson had been working for, that they would not make the final payment until the project was completed correctly.
Smith and Leahy showed the work done on social media. When Hanson learned and viewed the social media post, he went to 518 Fountain Street.
Leahy and Smith had been watching TV when they heard a knock at the door. According to the complaint, when Leahy answered the door, Hanson came through into the kitchen and began beating her. Smith heard Leahy scream and ran into the kitchen, where he found Hanson holding Leahy on the floor and punching her head multiple times. When he went to pull Hanson off of Leahy, Smith was knocked to the ground and punched five to six times.
A neighbor called law enforcement after hearing the disturbance, which resulted in Hanson's arrest.
At Thursday's hearing, Iowa County District Attorney Matt Allen, representing the state, moved to dismiss the misdemeanor battery, and obstruct an officer, for Hansen entering a plea to the aggravated battery, and the criminal trespassing charges.
The aggravated battery charge is a Class E felony and upon conviction carries a maximum $50,000 fine, imprisonment not exceeding 15 years, or both. The criminal trespassing is a Class A misdemeanor, and upon conviction carries a maximum $10,000 fine, imprisonment not exceeding nine months or both. Hanson pled no contest to the aggravated battery charge, and pled guilty to criminal trespassing.
The state is also requesting a Presentence Investigation (PSI) report, which is to be completed by July 1st. The PSI helps determine a defendant's sentence, not only reviewing the case itself but also provides details of a defendant's life, background and history.
It also reviews input from a victim in a case. This past Thursday, Leahy informed both attorneys and Judge Kohler the effects left on her by Hanson.
"This is a permanent injury for me," Leahy said. "I still cannot talk right because my lip is numb on one side, in fact my face is numb on one side. This will never go away."
"I hope he gets what he deserves-all for one moment of anger," Leahy concluded.
The sentencing hearing is on the calendar for July 22 at 2 p.m. It is also where the joint recommendation will be discussed.

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