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story.lead_photo.caption Jason Allen Farmer

BENTONVILLE -- A Missouri man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for forcing his way into his former girlfriend's home and attacking her.

Jason Allen Farmer, 34, of Reed, Mo., was found guilty of aggravated robbery, aggravated residential burglary and first- degree terroristic threatening, all felonies, along with misdemeanor third-degree domestic battering. He was found not guilty of aggravated assault of a family or household member, a felony.

The charge

Jason Allen Farmer, 34, of Reed, Mo., faced up to 10 to 40 years or life imprisonment each for the aggravated robbery and aggravated residential burglary convictions. He faced up to six years in prison for the terroristic threatening conviction and up to a year in jail for the domestic battery conviction.

Source: Staff Report

The jury deliberated for about four hours before returning with the verdicts.

Farmer, with his attorneys John Zaharopoulos and Matthew Swindle beside him, didn't show any reaction as the verdicts were read. Farmer hugged his crying wife after Circuit Judge Brad Karren recessed the proceeding before sentencing started.

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Farmer didn't testify during either phase of the trial, but spoke before Karren sentenced him.

"I do feel remorse, your honor," Farmer said. "Twenty-two years is a long time. I'm sorry for everything I did."

Farmer received 22 years for the robbery; 10 years for the burglary; six years for terroristic threatening and one year in jail for misdemeanor battery. The sentences will be served concurrently. Farmer will serve a little more than 14 years before he's eligible for parole.

Farmer was arrested Jan. 4, 2016. Gentry police responded to a 1:48 a.m call concerning a disturbance at 405 Willow St., the home of Darcy Fisher, Farmer's former girlfriend.

Fisher said Farmer, armed with an AR-15 rifle and wearing a flak jacket, forced his way into her home and attacked her. She said she thought Farmer was going to kill her.

She told jurors Farmer held a knife to her face and threatened her. She was able to flee the home and made it to a neighbor's home, but Farmer forced her back to her home, she said.

Prosecutors introduced text messages between Farmer and Fisher where Farmer made several threats to Fisher. Prosecutors also played threatening voicemails that Farmer left for Fisher.

Farmer's attorneys claimed during the trial he never went to Fisher's home with the intent to steal, but was only interested in retrieving property Fisher stole from his home.

Fisher denied during the trial she stole items from Farmer's home.

Prosecutors called Farmer's mother, Sandra Switzer, and his former wife, Kendall Farmer, as witnesses during the sentencing phase. Both women testified about being in altercations with him.

"I'm sorry," Kendall Farmer tearfully said as she talked about an encounter involving her former husband. "He's the father of my children."

Joseph Nelson testified he served with Jason Farmer in the U.S. Marine Corps. They served in Iraq at the same time, but were in different units, Nelson said. Nelson described Farmer as a leader who would protect and help anyone who was in trouble or being bullied.

Farmer's defense also presented medical testimony he's being treated for post-traumatic stress.

"This is a Marine," Zaharopoulos said. "He put his life on on the line."

Zaharopoulos said Farmer suffered an invisible injury -- post-traumatic stress -- while serving in the military. He urged jurors for leniency and asked them to recommend the minimum sentences because of Farmer's military service, his post-traumatic stress and being a first-time offender.

Stuart Cearley, chief deputy prosecutor, told jurors Farmer shouldn't get life sentences, but he should serve more than the minimum for his violent acts.

"It was a difficult case dealing with horrible and tragic details," said Jong Shin, deputy prosecutor. "We are thankful that the jury was able to wrestle through all of the evidence and reach just verdicts on the guilt and sentences."

NW News on 09/15/2017

Print Headline: Jury returns with guilty verdicts for Missouri man

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