According to court documents, James Milton Benefiel, 42, appeared before Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout to be advised of his rights, formal allegations and the potential penalties by Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger.
Stemming from a violent altercation that occurred at his Cory home Aug. 18, Benefiel was formally charged with (in order) class D felony domestic battery, class D felony strangulation, and two class A misdemeanor charges, including battery resulting in bodily injury, resisting law enforcement, and one class B misdemeanor battery.
According to the probable cause affidavit in the case, Benefiel allegedly struck and choked an unidentified family member and hit at least two other individuals in the presence of a juvenile under the age of 15 before running away from law enforcement officers dispatched to the investigate the incident.
Benefiel was taken into custody and booked into the Clay County Justice Center that same night.
Appearing in court Monday, Benefiel waived his constitutional rights and made a voluntary factual statement, pleading guilty to his involvement.
Trout entered guilty verdicts on counts 1, 3 and 5, while dismissing counts 2 and 4 at the state's request. A pre-sentencing investigative report was ordered to be prepared before the sentencing hearing tentatively scheduled for Sept. 20. Attorney Charles Hear was appointed to assist as defense counsel during the upcoming sentencing hearing.
Benefiel was remanded into the custody of the CCSD to await further court proceedings.