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Moore gets 9 years for nearly choking wife to death

FARMINGTON – Friends and family members of both the victim of a domestic assault and the man who faced 10 years in prison for the beating crowded into a small courtroom for his sentencing last Friday.

They listened as Prosecuting Attorney Wendy Wexler Horn played the almost 30-minute 911 tape for one last time.

“My wife is dying. I just beat the **** out of her,” Michael Moore said to a 911 dispatcher March 28, 2004.

The woman was transported by Air Evac to a hospital in St. Louis. She remained in intensive care for three days and then spent the next 10 days in rehabilitation at Barnes Hospital.

She doesn’t remember what happened that day, but told the judge, in a letter, that she is fearful of Moore.

“Even today, I have no memory of the details of the attack and my physician stated that I may never remember,” the victim wrote in a letter to the judge.

“I am the victim of a vicious attack who cannot tell the judge or jury the details of my attack. I can say that I fear the outcome either way. I will always fear the person that put me in the condition I was in and will probably be in the rest of my life.”

The prosecutor read letters from the court file from the victim, her daughter, her sister, and a doctor.

The doctor from the Washington University School of Medicine said the victim has no memory of the 24 hours that preceded the incident. He said she continues to struggle with memory and sleep problems, and neck pain.

Horn asked the judge to sentence Moore to 10 years in prison.

Moore’s attorney, John Williams, asked for five years of supervised probation.

Witnesses for the defendant, including family members and friends, testified that they have never seen Moore act in a violent matter. Several testified that they have seen the victim with Moore after the attack and she did not seem scared of him.

One man said months ago, she had asked him to talk to Horn about getting the charges against Moore dropped. He said the victim did not seem fearful of Moore.

“Are you suggesting that he shouldn’t be punished?” Horn asked the man.

“I don’t believe in hitting a woman and I know Mike doesn’t either,” he said. “…I know sometimes things just happen…”

After hearing arguments from both sides, Circuit Court Judge Scott Thomsen sentenced 44-year-old Moore of Fredericktown, to nine years in prison for first degree domestic assault.

Judge Thomsen was assigned to the case last week after Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte recused himself from the case.

According to court records, Moore called 911 and asked the dispatcher to send police and an ambulance. Moore then went on to say that deputies should know where the residence was located because they had just been there the day before for a disturbance.

Moore told the dispatcher he didn’t remember exactly what he did to her, but he mentioned later that he choked her. He said she was not bleeding but was having trouble breathing and was going in and out of consciousness.

Several times, Moore put her on the phone to let her hear the dispatcher’s voice so she would know help was on the way. She told the dispatcher she did not know if her husband had hit her.

A deputy testified during a preliminary hearing that when he arrived, she couldn’t talk and was having trouble walking. He didn’t notice any physical injuries or anything out of place in the residence that would lead him to believe there had been a struggle.

Horn said during the plea hearing, Moore was initially hesitant to admit to all the elements of the charge. However, after consulting with his attorney, Moore admitted he backhanded and choked his wife which caused her to be seriously injured.

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