Crime Briefs: Glenwood husband charged with attempted murder pleads guilty of assault |

Crime Briefs: Glenwood husband charged with attempted murder pleads guilty of assault

Ryan Summerlin

Byron Gardner, a Glenwood Springs man arrested in February 2016 on attempted first-degree murder, has pleaded guilty to felony second-degree assault, drugging a victim, in a plea bargain.

Glenwood Springs police allege that Gardner tried to keep his wife in a running car in their closed garage while their two children were also in the home. Prior to that he made her a tea with a ground-up sleeping pill.

He later told investigators that he believed his wife was going to leave him, according to police.

He was initially charged with attempted first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, both felonies, and two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered, along with a community corrections screening. His sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 22.

Three men, two knives, one arrest

Officers responded Monday evening to the 1500 block of 12th Street in Rifle where three men were fighting, and two of them reportedly had knives.

A 17-year-old girl was at the residence earlier with her family and her 20-year-old boyfriend, who had been living with them for about three months. She and her boyfriend were in the bathroom together, and the girl’s stepfather could hear them arguing.

In the bathroom, the 20-year-old boyfriend would later tell police, she grew upset and accused him of cheating on her.

Her yelling drew the attention of the other two men, he said.

The stepfather believed the boyfriend was assaulting her, so he kicked in the door.

The two men got into a fight, which wound up in the front yard, where the 20-year-old pulled a knife and threatened to stab the girl’s stepfather and her brother.

The 17-year-old girl’s brother went into the house, came back with a kitchen knife and chased the 20-year-old down the street.

The girl ran away with her boyfriend, who was eventually arrested on a felony menacing charge.

Domestic rampage, broken foot

All dispatchers could hear on a call the night of Jan. 6 was a woman crying heavily. Authorities tracked the phone to Wamsley Way in Rifle.

While a Rifle officer headed that way, another call came in reporting domestic disturbance on the 900 block of Wamsley Way.

Outside that address, officers observed items scattered through the apartment, the residence in disarray.

Being let into the residence, officers saw a broken television, clothing thrown about and a woman on the kitchen floor “crying uncontrollably,” according to a report.

A 29-year-old man in the apartment who appeared to be very intoxicated initially refused to identify himself, according to a police report. Neither the man nor the woman would talk about what had happened. The man was arrested at that time on a Garfield County warrant.

A couple of weeks later, the woman went to the Rifle Police Department and reported the two had been drinking and got into an argument. She also sent the police emails with photographs of what she said were bruising and marks on her body.

During the argument, the man had broken two TVs, her laptop and lava lamp, having thrown the latter at her, she said. He punched a hole in a door and kicked a hole in a cabinet.

At one point he grabbed her and pushed her against a sliding glass door, the report said. When she tried to call police he snatched her phone, removed the SIM card and broke the phone.

“She was afraid for her life, and had never been that scared of somebody,” according to the report.

He also pushed a table on her, landing on her body and her foot. Valley View Hospital later found she had a small fracture in her foot. Her arms, legs and chest were bruised.

The man was arrested on second-degree assault and criminal mischief, both felonies, and obstruction of telephone services, a misdemeanor. Domestic violence was added as a sentence enhancer.

Felony assault over phone bill

A 26-year-old woman reported a domestic violence incident at the 3300 block of South Grand Avenue the afternoon of Jan. 26.

She and her husband, a 30-year-old man whom she’s in the middle of divorcing, got into an argument over a phone bill. He was living at another residence at the time, and she had gone there to confront him.

During the argument she slapped his cell phone out of his hand, and he responded by grabbing her face in his hand and squeezing, an arrest affidavit said. He then spun her around and put her in a chokehold, squeezing her neck in his arm, making it difficult for her to breathe.

She had experienced a history of incidents like this that she had never reported, she told police.

While police were attempting to arrest the man, he resisted, and an officer “struck [the suspect] in the face with a closed fist,” according to an affidavit.

The 30-year-old man was arrested on charges of felony second-degree assault and felony violation of bail bond conditions. His arresting charges also included third-degree assault and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

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