Man gets probation in attempted murder case

Anger management, fine also part of sentence

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A Craig man charged with attempted murder received three years supervised probation Wednesday and was ordered to take an anger management class.

A relative of the victim's family and Ron Smith, the lawyer defending Levi Garrett Schwingdorf, told District Judge Paul McLimans the defendant was ready to mend his ways.

Schwingdorf, 19, has been in the Moffat County Jail for six months, which played a role in his sentence.

He appeared for sentencing in District Court on felony charges of attempted first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and two counts of menacing.

The charges stem from a Feb. 27 incident in which police were called to Schwingdorf's parents' house on a report that he would not let his girlfriend, Amber Tidwell, leave. The couple has a daughter together.

Tidwell testified at a May 3 preliminary hearing that Schwingdorf threatened her with a gun he was carrying and ran at her with a steak knife. Tidwell also said Schwingdorf pinned her down and tried to strangle her.

Amber Tidwell and her mother, Cherrie, appeared before the judge Wednesday to request that the restraining order against Schwingdorf be lifted.

"I'd like it to be lifted," Cherrie Tidwell said. "I'd like to see them get their family back together."

Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch said she opposed the request, considering Schwingdorf's long list of criminal charges. Schwingdorf was originally charged with seven felony counts in the case, but the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office dismissed two of the charges and amended one to a misdemeanor.

"I have concerns about lifting the restraining order because of the extensive history of other acts of domestic violence," Fitch said of Schwingdorf's record outside of Moffat County. "I know that (Amber Tidwell) has had contact with him in jail and in public places, but I'll let the court decide (whether to lift the order)."

McLimans lifted the restraining order and sentenced Schwingdorf to three years supervised probation and required him to earn a General Equivalency Diploma program within a year.

Schwingdorf is required to complete a 36-week anger management course and was fined about $2,000 in fees.

The judge deleted a lengthy public service requirement because of Schwingdorf's long stint in jail and concern about "the fair amount of responsibilities" he'll have trying to raise a child and complete his court-ordered requirements.

Schwingdorf has a long list of pending misdemeanor charges and traffic violations in other cases.

"For such a young age, you've made such a mess out of your life," McLimans said. "I want you to start working on making your pile (of cases) smaller rather than bigger."

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