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Man pleads no contest to felony domestic violence charges; state seeks 4–8 years in prison - Casper, WY Oil City News

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Man pleads no contest to felony domestic violence charges; state seeks 4–8 years in prison

Michael Brundige at initial appearances (Gregory Hirst)

NOTE: This article relates aspects of a domestic violence case.

CASPER, Wyo. — On Friday, a Natrona County man pleaded no contest in district court to two felony charges of third-time domestic battery. 

In return for the plea, the state has agreed to drop charges of aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and strangulation against Michael Brundige, age 43. 

The state will ask for a four- to eight-year prison term at sentencing. Brundige and his public defender, Marty Scott, will be free to argue for a lesser sentence, including probation. 

Brundige has been incarcerated since his arrest last August, and his bond had been set at $100,000 cash or surety at his preliminary hearing. Scott argued for a reduction to $10,000 cash or surety on Friday. Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson opposed the motion, saying Brundige was a flight risk — due to a domestic violence fugitive warrant out of Colorado — and posed a risk of violence to the community, including to the victim in this case.

Judge Josh Eames elected to keep bond set.

The case began late last August, when an off-duty Casper Police Department officer encountered Brundige and the 35-year-old woman in a vehicle parked in the middle of Hat Six Road. The officer reportedly saw that the woman had blood coming out of her mouth, according to an affidavit filed by Natrona County Sheriff’s Office investigators. The officer did not believe the man’s explanation that the woman was having a seizure and called emergency dispatch. 

Investigators and medical personnel observed bruises and swelling on her face and body as well as red marks on her neck, the affidavit said. She said that she was waiting for an opportunity to get out of the vehicle, and that Brundige struck her when she attempted to do so. He then began speeding on I-25 and parked on the south end of Hat Six Road.

Before law enforcement came upon the scene, the woman said Brundige repeatedly struck her, dragged her into a field, choked her, and threw her phone into the weeds. 

She said that Brundige’s violence had been escalating since late that spring, that he had strangled her about 40 times, and that her relationships with family and friends suffered due to his controlling behavior and paranoia about being cheated on.

In once instance, she said Brundige had poured gasoline on her and around the room and threatened to light them on fire. She said he threatened to kill her on many occasions, according to the affidavit.

Information and resources related to domestic violence can be found here.